Door Metaphors

For Louisa and Holger, May 16, 1987

Part 1: Five Haiku Doors

Old door, tree grows quarter century, more,
 blocking its way,
Cut down tree - where will it open to?

Marriage, always the same door
With three movements:

As you go out,
Dry twig cracks underfoot,
Startling unexpected tears.

Invisible place, half-way through
Ancient gate.
You pause - What happens next?

As we watch,
Unseen hands press the door open,
You enter.
The play begins.
Did you think it could start without you?

Part 2: The Surrealistic Door

We trembled towards the door,
which scintillated
red-blue, red-blue, red-blue
through the mist.
Our teeth chattered from cold, and fear.
We had not  expected to feel this way,
before dawn, waiting, that morning.

Worries sleeted down on us,
like ten million needles,
dancing on the head of an angel.
Anxieties tugged at us,
like children just about to start whining.
Fears chilled us deep
as we huddled,
unready for the opening,
too late to stay
in the familiar territory we knew.

Red-blue, red-blue
blurring after-images
moving beyond vision.
The door hung in mid-air,
like a migraine scotoma burning
at the center of our stare.

Sometime later, blue-red became purple,
and bright violet light blinded us
as the door opened.
A small boy in a night shirt appeared
in silohuette,
and we stumbled through.

Part 3: The Purple Door

One morning
Harold got out of bed,
picked up his purple crayon,
and decided to go to your wedding.

The first thing he needed to do
was to draw a door.
Next, he drew a door knob
and used it to open the door.
Then he went outside and drew a line
all  the way across for the horizon.

Looking out across the horizon,
Harold know it was too  far to walk.
So he drew an airplane
with two wings, two wheels,
and two seats, one with a steering wheel
and one without.

Since Harold did not know how to fly,
he drew a pilot,
being careful to add the pilot's cap.
Next he drew another line across
to make a runway for the airplane.
Then off they went, flying up in the air.

As they flew along, Harold reached out
and drew some fluffy clouds to
make the sky look more interesting.
He also drew a friendly sun
and two middle-sized birds.

After a while, Harold got tired of flying
and decided that he was almost there.
As the airplane flew over,
he drew two long lines
for the runway,
and the pilot landed them safely.

Harold was glad to be on the ground again.
He drew a hill for himself to walk over.
But at the top of the hill,
he drew a big, fancy door.

Harold opened the door.
You two,
and everyone else,
came through the door.

He was just in time for the wedding.

Copyright 1998 by Robert Elliott

Return to top of page

Return to Family Poems index page

Return to Elliott Family Page