Imagine a hallway….

Am reading How the Light Gets In – Writing as a Spiritual Practice and just loved this poem.

It is always the same goddamn hallway,
the same smell of darkness
at the center of my mind.
I won’t go back there this time
not again.
I will make myself a hallway. Let it be
light. Let there be sun
falling through a window and carpeting
a stair. Let there be space and a clock
ticking fifteen minutes before noon.
Let it be morning. Let it be June.

Let there be biscuits baking in the kitchen
and the smell of nutmeg rampant in the house.
Let there be some dust between the rungs
at the stairway edge,
but only half weeks worth. No more.
Let there be a baby’s picture book
abandoned on a table in the downstairs hall
and a slight puddle standing
at the tip of an umbrella
in an old umbrella stand.
Let there be privacy possible here,
Let there be no Mr. Castillo smelling
of cheap wine, grouchy, waiting in-line
outside the bathroom door with his urine
in a milk bottle in his hand;
let there be no stale smell of sauerkraut
from the room of an unhappy woman upstairs,
no screaming Nigger! Nigger!
coming up the furnace ducts
from the apartment below. Let there be
an absolute absence of cockroaches,
Let there be no fear of the police,
no chain lock on the door,
no grease across the window pane.
Let there be no shame.
And it is so.
I have made a hallway for myself,
and I’m walking down it.
I walk in sunlight and nutmeg. I walk
in the still magic of imagined space,
and almost at the end, on the left,
there is a door. It is standing open,
and I go in
and close the door behind me,
Like this…
Imagine a hallway in childhood
by Pat Schneider

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