Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Unpainted Door
Finally, in middle age,
I was tempted to return to childhood.

The house was the same, but
the door was different.
Not red anymore--unpainted wood.
The trees were the same: the oak, the copper beech.
But the people--all the inhabitants of the past--
were gone: lost, dead, moved away.
The children from across the street
old men and women.

The sun was the same, the lawns
parched brown in summer.
But the present was full of strangers.

And in some way it was all exactly right,
exactly as I remembered: the house, the street,
the prosperous village--

Not to be reclaimed or re-entered
but to legitimize
silence and distance,
distance of place, of time,
bewildering accuracy of imagination and dream--

I remember my childhood as a long wish to be elsewhere.
This is the house; this must be
the childhood I had in mind.

Louise Glück

Louise Glück was Poet Laureate in 2003-2004. The Monrovia Public Library has her books The Triumph of Achilles and The Seven Ages.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

I love your site, but wonder where Monrovia is. :-)

Barbara on Vancouver Island, BC Canada