The Door

Distracting rays were shining round my door 

                          And so I stood 

     And stepped across the landing floor 

     To see if any light-source could 

Be ascertained but, once I was outside, 

                            I checked my stride. 


Out there I found a stretching corridor, 

                           So down I walked. 

     I had not noticed it before. 

     On every lintel, names were chalked 

And soon I stalled at one that was well-known: 

                           It was my own. 


The hinges creaked. I cautiously went in, 

                             Enjoying there 

     A room where sunlight lapped my skin 

     And central was a swivel chair. 

It spun about. I felt a smile extend: 

                            ‘Good morning, friend.’ 


This figure gestured me towards an arch 

                          Marked ‘Happiness’ 

     And I, determined, moved to march 

     Its way, but paused: ‘I should express 

Some thanks—‘my friend, however, waved and said, 

                          ‘You go ahead.’ 


Once I had ventured in I felt betrayed, 

                             As I discerned 

     A maze of winding walls that made 

     Me dizzy, sad, until I turned 

One corner and (in hope of what?) I saw 

                             Another door. 


Eager, I entered, to a gallery 

                             Closely comprised 

    Of portals, each a vacancy 

    For liberty. I realised 

I’d never loved a room. It is the door 

                            That I adore. 

Copyright: from The Multiverse (Carcanet, 2018), © Andrew Wynn Owen 2018, used by permission of the author

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Andrew Wynn Owen is a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He received the Newdigate Prize in 2014 and an Eric Gregory Award in ...

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