inspired by Edward Hirsch’s “For the Sleepwalkers”

This morning I want to say a thank you

to the solid doors that serve this home,

that watch each day’s going out

and each day’s coming back in.

That keep our secrets in suitcases,

our shoes, neatly matched.

That bar strangers, neighbors,

even friends. Sometimes, even unlocked,

they secure us in the bathroom,

where we splash water in the sink to drown

out the shouting just on the other side.

My heart says: Swing wide.

Swing open. Swing back and forth.

May knobs hobble off and keys

take wing. Be screened—not solid.

Let the air in. Slam joyfully.

Play indoors and outdoors

at once, as if they were the same.

We have to make our souls mesh.

We must become an exit

as well as an entrance

to every person. In every

season, when we must

close, let us lay unlatched, like a gate.