This week, in the Sandbox Challenge, Calen asks us: What door have you closed in your life, and why? Will you ever open it again?
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I used to dream of love and romance;
of marrying a reasonably handsome man
who would be the perfect companion
in every way. He would never fire me to anger
and would understand and support my many passions.
Together we would fashion our own private paradise
and he would never look twice at some big-busted bimbo
or overpriced impulse buy.
He would fill my days with laughter and smiles
and we’d while away the nights in intimate delight.
We would wish to die in each others arms
and pray there was a heaven,
so we’d never have to part.
But it all went wrong, and I gave up hope.
Now I take up my hammer and a heap of oak.
and even though I closed it six years ago or more,
I place a weighty plank across the door,
grab my tool, and drive the nails straight through.
I fix up a second plank, and then another two,
then check them and find that they’re secure,
but I add a load of screws, just to be sure.
Only now can I guarantee
that no man will ever try to romance me,
because they’ll never fight their way through the door,
and through all those heavy timbers which I pulled from my floor.
©Jane Paterson Basil
when I was three feet high
I selected my beliefs to suit the life I desired;
projecting a fantasy of everlasting childhood,
thinking nothing bad could ever happen to me;
or if it did my parents would make it better.
My self-effacing mother would soothe me in her gentle way,
or my clever father would make the problem go away.
I dreamed of joining a circus, of living in a palace,
of being famous for jumping higher than anyone in the world
and writing the best book in the known universe,
but the future was so distant that it didn’t exist,
and I continued to dream that it would be my happy fate
to turn perfect cartwheels and ride
on top of a trailer of sun-warmed hay
in an unchanging emerald world throught eternity.
I lived in a part of rural England where
if a tree was felled, another would take its place,
where autumn may take the leaves away,
but spring would always return them:
where children never died; or at least,
none of the children I met.
The demise of a curled foetus was a distant thing
with the positive attribution of making a fat woman thin;
Hunger only happened to the young in poor countries,
and when we went to school we filled their stomachs
by donating our pennies and being rewarded
by little photographs of their pretty faces,
which we took home to display, proud
in our sweet belief that had changed a life.
None of the suffering children were plain,
which was a good thing because if they had been
we may not have wanted their picture,
leaving them to their hollow fate.
When my silhouette curved into premature maturity
I was ten years old and five feet tall.
My father killed my innocence with his impropriety,
and although his behaviour was reprehensible;
precursing my slippery fall,
someone had to break my childish naivity.
©Jane Paterson Basil