in this dim-lit pit
— where whispers mock my wish for hush —
lies a scratched and pitted door
— ravaged by cracked captives claws —
whose rust-locked hinges have no plan
to shift and set lost victims free.
I pray the rotting, oaken door
may swing aside for me.
Dampened cobwebbed arches
— dragged low by weight of foetid flies —
offer falsified, feigned promise
of an end beyond the rise.
Ducking ‘neath the grubby silk
I grimly beg the tainted troll
who locked me in this dread hell-hole
“Please speed me to my goal.”
An ochre silence fills the lonely space.
No gentle voice consoles, no crash resounds;
the walls don’t split to let in light and set me free.
I know within my clogging soul
the answer must be “No.”
With heavy tread I stumble on,
that I may gain my liberty.
©Jane Paterson Basil