Why She Fell In Love With Doors by Helen Kay

Why she fell in love with doors is a poem that brilliantly works the idea of an eternity of opening and closing. Living with trauma is an eternity and though we might feel it more or less strongly on certain days, it remains there, like the poem’s wolf, lurking behind our everyday life. ‘She must open more doors, no, shut them.’ suggests how time keeps forcing us on but cannot take away what we have experienced. The poem is one of slashes and slits and has all the threat and qualities of fairy tales of old. – Jane Burn, guest editor.

Why she fell in love with doors

Swing of a page to a new year.
Door yawns open to first footers
bringing shortbread and sloe gin.

She must open more doors, no, shut them.
Draughts pimple her calves; street lights
stab past a hinge’s stiff applause.

A chain smiles across an opened slit.
She jokes with her kids to ask callers
to put a hoof through the letterbox

as proof, to beware a wolf who flours
his paws. The door is pierced
with keys and bolts to keep out bad things.

Flashback: midnight in a milky kitchen.
A backdoor handle turns. He is outside,
a low spitting growl. Door plays dead.

Helen Kay

Helen’s poems crop up in various magazines. In 2018-2019 she was second in the Leeds Peace and Welshpool Festival competitions. She curates a project to support dyslexic poets: facebook page Dyslexia and Poetry. Her pamphlet, This Lexia & Other Languages will be published by v. press

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