If you stare at a doorway long enough
Someone might appear
Who is not just passing through
In the shuffle of it all
But who means to be there
Or who was sent
And has a reason to stare
Back at you
Or beyond you
Or straight through you.

Filling void with vacancy
This stranger you
Seem to know
hovers in the frame
a frail anachronism
one hand clutching the handle
Unmoving, uncertain.
It will not come in.
It has perceived its  
Own evanescence.

Door leads to door
Dreams open wide and
Heartbeats are counted
in the closures.
You will follow the traces
to a dark closet
And a musty box
Of a thousand old photographs.
Dragging them into the light
You seek the continuum.

Aha! There it is!
Cast in a stained, milky light
An old farmhouse
a great oak,
a tilted swing
on a shaded porch.
Someone stands in a doorway
One hand clutching the handle
The other waving
across an unfathomable field.


Pete Howard works as an English teacher, a musician, a writer, and a house painter.