Of course I looked out the window first
before untwisting the locked bolt.
But now I was vulnerable at the gaping door frame,
realizing how easily I choose that questionable choice.
Grandmother used to advise in low tones
from her cushioned throne: dead bolt
that door during the day. All the new cities I’ve
lived in—the army moves our accumulate boxes
from garage to garage. Our ornaments lodge
in totes four high to the ceiling.
Four moves in four years. In San Antonio, we were prey
to the burglars and scammers. I locked the
doors and windows, owned a pit bull for a while.
In Georgia, “We cuhntry here in Jawjah,”
the athlete of a man at my door explained when I asked
his opinion on whether in the future I should open the door
to men who look like athletes whom I do not know who
knock on my door in the middle of the day.
Pastor Lawson, he introduced himself. He was selling a homemade
book of recipes to raise money for
a women’s shelter. “We’re cuhntry here in Augusta. The people
in cities are aggressive people. Unnerstand me?
But the Lawd will tell you when it’s safe to answer the door.”
And I was reminded that day
by a huge angel to my door
that perhaps my life was protected by God
regardless of whether I open my door to strangers.
Catherine is a former Northerner excited about growing her roots into the
red Georgia clay. You can find her blog at myspace.com/czickgraf
Her poetry has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association
and in BirdsEye Review. She also has work forthcoming in GUD Magazine and