The Parlor

The old screen on its creaky hinges
sifted the pure aroma of camphor
from deep inside the doily darkness.
How soon would granny die
so I could stop reliving the requirements?

The tarnished handle would not pull.
Feet beyond the dim veil of motes,
just before the fade to nocturnality,
scraped toward me, then away,

but I was confused
about the requirements.
Don’t forebears exit first? Why
was I the one locked outside?

I now can say: the requirements were a dainty
that the parlor was for me,
that the shambling inside was my decision.
I can now say for certain: the young
always exit the parlor first.


Stephen Smith has a bio coming!