A dim memory
wrinkled and frail,
shivering in the mind
like leaf-lace in winter.
The turn of your head,
an unexpected pang
both a shudder and a lure.

It was so long ago—
a place discovered
and quickly forgotten.
We’ve all been there,
the strange part of town,
the gape of an alley
where the hook of a dream
caught and drew us in.

You thought the night
would go on forever,
stoical to the end
until you stumbled
into the courtyard:
limpets of light
clinging to the brick,
a thousand ghostly whispers,
the flickering wings of gossamer moths.

For here they are:
here are the doors.

A lock intended to last forever
crumbles when the key is ready.
The heart hesitates,
fearful of the source;
beyond the threshold,
Good Friday, Easter and Christmas
are unfolding at a pace
hardly to be believed.

Opening will bring remembrance,
but do not fear the bones
tumbling from their confinement.
Some are dead beyond caring,
but there are others here
who deserve a second chance.

And you are their chance,
you are their opening.
What at first seems so alien
will become the familiar.
Hasten, rediscover the portal:
be generous with your courage,
embrace a new hope.

Background photo by Alexander Vertikoff.

Nora Leonard, October 2004