Wednesday, November 5, 2008


He always answers
when you knock,
and is glad to let you in.

His house is strange,
with many halls
and rooms.

Each contains a mirror
that shows you
where you’ve been.

Each contains a door
that leads you
back again.

To gain your freedom,
your host
must show the way.

Before he can, or will,
you must almost
want to stay.

From Songs and Letters, originally published May 17, 2006.

Note: On the second day of February back in 2007, I received a short e-mail from someone in Canada asking my permission to make copies of “Pain” to hand out at the end of a one-hour “psycho-education session” for sufferers of psychological trauma and chronic pain. I readily consented. He didn’t reply.


Joseph Hutchison said...

Terrific poem, William. Ted Kooser has a poem about a typical visit to his oncologist, back when he was struggling with cancer—a waiting room portrait that was similarly picked up, reprinted and framed for use in a number of doctors' offices, as I recall.

I love that poke-in-the-eye for the "poetry makes nothing happen" folks....

~im just only me~ said...

"...You can checkout any time you like, But you can never leave..."