The Yellow Door
By ramrod fleet, by coonskin cap,
walking contraband visits the shops,
in this one and out that one,
purchases wrapped under arm or carried
in tiny gift bags that festive ornament dangle
just feet above hurried gum-stuck pavement
and I with this tea spout, a personal waterfall,
in this cozy linoleum womb which must now stand in
for dying mother, this recidivist’s way I return to the window,
checking to see if that yellow door across the street is still there;
the train runs off with all its passengers on the hour,
no quick getaway for our stoic yellow friend –
out front and first over the top,
how long must a man steep before all the flavour
Mrs. Markey has invited many factions over.
Storming up her kitchen, the smell is awful.
And soon the guests will arrive.
I keep peering out from behind heavy brown curtains.
A moth-eaten housecoat done up around sagging middle.
Imagining all manner of party favours and place settings.
A parade of lipstick and disingenuous niceties.
Warring submarines parked all over the street.
Jiggling Jello molds up the front stoop with a false precariousness.
And later, that fraudulent tippled gang-cackle.
In this repurposed Barcalounger, I sit in the dark.
The stillness of old pipe smoke upon these rooms I forget to live in.
Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Bourgeon, TheSongIs.., Cultural Weekly, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.
Image: Floris van Schooten, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons