There Is a Door

“At the end of my suffering,
there was a door.”
~ Louise Gluck

Always. Across the once-green expanse
hilling the horizon edged with cedars
leaning into each other in the sun

right before the wind returns
to clear us of all this humidity,
the righteous angst of being human,

which is not to say it was easy:
we were lost here, like hurricanes stationed
in place against their will to dissolve

into oceans. We were afraid often
of it never ending, pain so fluent
in speaking the language of forever.

We were separate from each other
below the cusp of so much sadness
that even the dragonflies avoided us

or we were trapped in the timbers of pain,
piercing our temples or aching in our calves,
keeping us awake no matter how hard we kicked.

It didn’t, doesn’t matter if we cried out
or tightened the long vertical muscles in our necks
to hold in our curses or screams
or especially if we felt nothing but the bank
of fog become an ocean so deep and tilted
away from the light that we thought we lived here.

Somehow—a miracle, a piece of luck, a strange
happening—there was a door, and then,
on the other side, we found each other.

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About the Author

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of 24 books, including How Time Moves: New & Selected Poems; Miriam's Well, a novel; Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust; The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community, and Coming Home to the Body. Founder of Transformative Language Arts, she leads writing workshops widely, coaches people on writing and right livelihood, and consults on creativity.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
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