—Ann Menebroker, Sacramento
It was dark, the way dark can be
when there is no light, but for street lamps
outside the house and someone was at
the window, trying to get in; a younger
woman sat in a chair, holding an unloaded
ancient rifle that had belonged
to her first ex's granddad, and thinking in circles
of genuine fear of survival and life
without her in it, waiting for this fool
to come in, ask her out for breakfast
in an unconventional way. The mind's
little games, the heart's smallest
rules, a night that came down like one
hell of a rain storm, and it was about
2:30 a.m. after he'd closed his restaurant.
He kept holding up his day's income
as if that would make her open the door.
(Or the damn window!)
But she kept the rifle aimed and he looked
genuinely shocked that she sat so quietly.
The dark room. The old part of night.
The giving up and going away. The window
so thin in its glass, not dividing violence
by more than a thought, kept shut.
AT THE WINDOW (for Rachel)
—Patricia Hickerson, Davis
during the long night
I held your hand
in the street below
a police siren started up
stopped in mid-scream
its abrupt terror
spinning out to claim a fresh victim
from among the broken and helpless
at the window our murmurings
like doves in conspiracy
cleared a space for us
in the city’s dense web
Many nights I held your hand.
Many afternoons I hoped you were safe.
Many hours I guarded you.
Many hours I dreamed of you.
Many hours I rejoiced in you.
Many hours I regretted you.
Many hours I loved you.
still I dream large and wild
windows wide open, arched
curtains flung roomward
sheered with sunlight
where once I paced, waited
windowless and wanton,
warping the weft of weeks
watched her thru a window
went out to dinner, waited to go home
to a police note tucked in the front door
to wickedly polished floors
gleaming with a satin sheen
rooms beyond were warm with carpet
dogs stretching from their naps
gazing, brown eyes wistful
the undulant fever of my daughter’s mind
lost in all rooms among chairs and tables
hands at my throat
smashed panes in the French doors upstairs
she tried to break out
so intensely the house behind its eucalyptus shadow
rooms haunted at the rim of the canyon
wisteria purpled the driveway
acacia yellowed the sunpad below
WHAT I SAW FROM MY HOTEL WINDOW ON MY 80TH BIRTHDAY:
an expanse of still water running deep, slow, hardly moving
(like me now)
and hidden in its depths—outrageous, secret, tumbling life
as in the note I wrote 45 years ago.
I said to him I am sitting, an exile from our love, at a window on 48th Avenue
looking out at the Pacific
wishing myself a world away from the pain of having to give you up.
Years later, you, now a dead man
buried faraway in Alabama
you are feeling no pain.
And I feel almost none.
(first pub. in Rattlesnake Review)
Enter softly, gentle sheep
To the sanctuary of love
Where stained glass windows
Cast their magic plumes
From aeries far above
‘Tis a darkened oven chamber
Warmed by random acts of kindness
Rays of truth that
Find their way through blindness
Come now, approach and greet the light
That shapes and molds your soul
Unite your spirits
Hand in hand
Two hearts become one whole.
(A true tale)
We were off to bed
On a blustery night
Soft pillows to head
Our windows shut tight
When the roar of the wind
Whipped the roof off next door
Tiles plummeted no end
Gaping holes where they tore
Our window was history
Just shards and a frame
But the source was no mystery
Those loose tiles were to blame
We called our landlord that night
And they sent their Mr. Fixit
Who nailed plywood over the blight
Good as new, ipse dixit
—Sandy Thomas, Sacramento
The steeple spirals
toward the heavens
the gargoyle watches below
atop Notre Dame de Paris
just above the open window
that looks down on the rooftops
in the distance
the Eiffel Tower calls
Thanks to all those who've opened up windows in the Kitchen today for our Seed of the Week: Through the Open Window... Carl Schwartz (Caschwa) writes: Walking along 12th Street this morning, a merchant’s Closed sign read “Sorry we missed you.” Fortunately, it was not a guns and ammo shop!
It's not too late to send us poems on this subject—or any other. The Snakes of Medusa are always hungry........ That's email@example.com (Remember: the p.o. box we used to have in Pollock Pines is now closed.)