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He Knocked On The Door


He knocked so hard on my oaken door that his knuckles bled

And through a crack in the wood I could feel his breath


Fear drowned out his soft words and filled my head

So I ran upstairs and hid under the bed


The voice in my belly cried: “Please let him in!

Did you not wish for gold, a big house and a lover within?”


My head replied: “But he wants me to give up what is not yet mine

And this coming from a man, who reeks of garlic and wine!”


The soft voice rose up to my room calling “Run away with me!

We’ll have some adventures far across the sea


There are many miracles we have yet to do

Follow me and to be sure I’ll show you a trick or two”


From under my bed I crawled and turned on the light

My fear and I were having a bit of a fight


“You had gold, and a house with a lover within

And all it did was remind you of your original sin


Separation and loss was the return for your suffering and pain

What” – cried my belly’s voice – “did you really gain?”


I looked around at all my stuff

And decided that I’d had enough


I ran down to the door and shouted “Let’s sail away and sing and dance

If I open the door will you to take me to France?”


But my fear would not let me open the door

So I began chipping and chiselling a hole in the wall


As I dented the plaster I heard a sheep bleat and thought I smelt hay

His voice came through the wall and he was starting to pray


“Put down your toil and illusions, a child has been born here

That needs your care and patience and who will banish all of your fear


Open the door and let’s set sail across the sea

And I will show you what it is to be truly free”


I put down the spoon I’d been chiselling with when I heard his call

And lay down with my eyes closed upon the floor


My fingers were blistered, there was dust in my eyes

How could I know what was truth and what was lies?


“You know nothing” called the voice: “You are innocent and free

It is your judgements alone that keep you from me”


“Let them go!” Cried the voice in my belly, “Set sail with no map and trust to the winds”

“No!” yelled back my head.  “No map? No constraints? That must be a sin!”


I opened my eyes and watched his large fingers ease through the crack

In the wall I had chiselled, so I took up my spoon – but decided not to attack


Flowers sprouted from the carpet as he asked: “Do you see the illusion?”

I wanted to weep and to wail at all this confusion


I remembered the lovers who had ripped my heart to shreds

I remembered the houses I’d built toiling till my fingers had bled

I remembered the gold I had won which had all turned to lead

I remembered those I had loved who were all now quite dead


I opened my eyes and felt my heart still beating strong

I couldn’t remember whose house this was but I felt I belonged

I had no money to spare yet my belly was full

My memories were now banished – because I saw they were cruel


There is a great oak door in the house where I once lived

Which split right in two the day I learned to forgive

Of the fact I once lived there you’ll see not a sign

Just the faint whiff, of a scent, of garlic and wine



by Suzy Miller, dedicated to Andrew for showing me the door

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