Each moment is a threshold

Each moment is a threshold
hinged upon an ancient door;
we swing between two rooms:
the future, and what’s come before.

Experience, the lubricant
that smooths the rust and squeaks,
we start to use, and learn to hoard,
before we learn to speak.

One room is full of fantasy,
the other, hardened fact;
and though we glimpse both in the frame,
one isn’t coming back.

Each motion scrapes the floorboards clean
of dust from either side,
and pushes it before us.
One day, we choose to decide

which room is where we want to live,
to dwell on history,
or venture into the unknown
and forge a destiny.

We spend our time, hung on this door,
our focus one small arc
that gives us merely glimpses of
what’s out there in the dark:

for one, what holds the doorframe still,
what force compels these walls
to stand erect our entire lives,
while all around us falls?

And what if we should swing too hard,
as if it were a game
to make the quickest, loudest swing?
Is the oak door to blame

if loosened from its hinges,
it should let us hurl beyond
the simple, repetitious arc
we’ve come to depend on?

22 JUN 2005

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