In this Poem You Have a Door

to prisoners, refugees, immigrants, aged infirm, children at their screens, quarantined, us

What I need to write now
is a different sort
of poem, one that
dings like a text or better
rings like a phone
call and when you
answer it is
your best friend, brother,
child, something, someone like
that and everything is perfectly
fine, they say, the night’s heavy
snow is melting under spring sun,
something like that happens, and
let it be a poem that
doesn’t surprise you
at the end of it
with some scary real
news or moment of existential
panic like we get
every day. No,
I will write a poem
that could be everybody’s friend, could be
a hug, a kiss, could be
the delivery of oranges
or the neighbor’s plum trees
flowering with certainty
there will be no late frost
no kiss of death
so when I share
this poem, I will edit out
the kiss of death,
will cut it short, and the flowers
will ease into fruit in this poem
over several warm months,
and when the poem of your phone rings
it will actually be your doorbell
(you have a phone, a door, and a bell in this poem)
and there will be your neighbor,
your best friend, your children,
something like that, someone,
this poem, a hug during
the time of waiting,
not a poem of longing.  Why
must I always follow
the poem to there,
a sorry visit to my heart,
a shocking fact in my mind,
some science that insists
on being spoken,
that it may be a very long
time before you have a door,
or a bell, or before a door bell rings,
if ever, but still,
when you open the door,
let the poem of us
be surprised and wait,
cherishing the light in our faces,
then let us reach out
and touch each other’s hands
then step as close
and hold each other as close
as a clam to its shell
mud to a shoe
a cat on your lap
fish in water, carpet to floor, bird to sky, egg to nest, worm to dirt, tree to
root, type to
page, planet to gravity.
Then let the poem be with you
like you and it are two peas
in a pod, that is
as close as the you-to-me
you always are
wherever you are.
Let my poem touch
you till you laugh.

Carol Guerrero-Murphy is a poet who lives in Superior.