Yes, I know I have been away. Stuff has been happening; mostly WPC and the daily demands of teacher preparation and reading and grading student papers so that they have timely responses. Honestly, I don't remember ever working as hard as I do now to teach.
This poem was begun in June, which will be clear when it is read. I am still 69 but much closer to January next that January last--
Born in 1943, January; I am now 69.
It is June. Month six. Halfway to 70.
It occurs to me that halfway
is apt metaphor of my life.
Standing in a doorway—the door
I’ve so often described to my students.
The "Hamlet" door, which reference, I hope,
some of my students will remember.
The door of life of decision irrevocable. It
has a doorknob on the enter side—and no such
thing on the other. If it shuts behind you.
There you are.
Shut out. On the other side. No way but forward
into the dark in front. There is no possibility that
you could open it again.
I stand in the doorway. Neither in nor out.
Some might call it liminal space—and there have been
such times of potential.
But more like cowardice for me.
I’ve almost let it close behind me. More than once.
Never really, though. At last moment, finger tips gripping,
I open it and step back in.
Those who can’t, teach. Perhaps.
Perhaps it is that I am a doorkeeper,
meant to keep it open—to live there, on the verge,
in liminal space, to show others the way through.
That would be good.
If it only is true.