The barn door
I shove the barn door. Half off its hinges, it pushes back.
Its face is implacable, like the face of an old Sioux chieftain
contemplating endurance, loss, my inadequacy.
As I harden my purpose, put my shoulder to the wood
the door lurches toward me or away from me
- the direction cannot be predicted - drags against stone
and stops dead like a stubborn dog or a man done
with the effort of it all, the scraping back and forth.
I lift firmly with one hand, guide with the other,
curse until it yields me a begrudged space to get through,
the imagined Sioux's eyes hard as tomahawks like the picture
of an ancestor that leaves you with a subtle feeling
of uneasiness, of having done the thing wrong
of having tried again and failed to measure up again.
Published in Census, The Third Seven Towers Anthology (Seven Towers Agency, 2012)