The door of the house

The OctPoWriMo theme today is doors. This poem came out as a sort of unmetred sonnet.


This house is bounded by stone walls,

sheltered by the roof, and more,

all the life within, without

is guarded by a door.

Feet first she went, among the mourners

following, darkening the sill.

Head first the baby entered,

banishing the dark, the weeping fallen still.

She always said that, my grandmother,

when one goes out another takes their place,

leaving or arriving, the balance kept

with open arms to vibrant life or death’s sad face.

Whichever way we pass, on joyful feet or head bowed to the floor,

It will always be beneath the scent of roses round the door.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

21 thoughts on “The door of the house”

    1. Thanks Holly 🙂 It’s a traditional thing, I suppose, but I’ve never thought of doors as representing opportunity or anything so anodyne. They are portals, letting souls in and out. I suspect that’s one reason why I so hate the tacky pvc doors that every other house seems to have acquired.

      1. They are such an important part of a house. I truly hate those white plastic doors with the fake glass fake fanlight in them. They are ugly, cheap and soulless. A door like that has nothing to say at all!

      2. When we’ve been looking for a new house, the door is one of the first indications about the interior. Anyone who would choose that particular door would be unlikely to have chosen an attractive decor for the interior.

  1. I like this, the unmetered sonnet. I could see some doors as portals. But mirrors maybe more so–some people cover them during mourning. I think it’s often said because people shouldn’t be concerned with personal adornment, but I think the deeper meaning is to keep out spirits.
    Do I remember that you had a newborn when someone died? I suspected I was pregnant with my younger daughter when my aunt (who she’s named after) died.

    I didn’t know about OctPoWriMo, just the April one. Maybe I’ll check it out when I have more time.

    1. My dad died just a few weeks after my second daughter was born and my granddad died when I was three months old. My sister had just had a baby when my grandmother died. In the days of short life expectancy and large families, I suppose it was inevitable that births and deaths coincided.
      I didn’t know that about mirrors, and I’m sure like you, that it isn’t to do with vanity!
      I’ll follow any prompt. If it produces a poem, I’m up for it 🙂

      1. Ah–it was your dad I guess I was thinking of. I gave birth to a book just after my dad died. 😉 I’ll have more time for prompts, soon I hope.

    1. You mean as in hordes of babies over-running the planet? I wasn’t thinking of that, just at a very personal level. I don’t know about the theory of runaway population explosion. It’s a theory that suits the fat countries because it transfers the blame to the poor ones. But in terms of wear and tear on the planet, the poor, despite all their babies don’t do nearly as much damage as we do. And their population increase has slowed. Educate women, give them equal rights and they don’t choose to have eight children before they’re twenty-three.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s