Front door KWH
Front Doors
by Kim Whysall-Hammond

I met so many people
painting our first front door
but it wasn’t just painting
it never is.
First chipping away rotten wood
and then an artful working of filler
to recreate the simple mouldings
a grey undercoat that smooths
before, finally
a loving coat of shiny navy blue.

It took all of a long day
on a very busy street
first the postman gave advice
then the guy delivering newspapers
to the shop three doors away
commented on how few women
paint front doors
our roofer stopped to say hello
and discuss the precarious roof
a new neighbour introduced themselves
complimented my work
offered friendship
finally my parents arrived
unexpectedly
and made tea.

I remember this, as I hide behind
another front door in another house.
We wipe its UPVC surface with alcohol
to remove virus, and
don’t touch the mail until it’s a day old
no live virus on it then.
This front door isn’t elderly wood
but hidden steel within shiny white
when we lock it, nine bolts
shoot from its interior
into the strengthened frame.
In its centre a double glazed
stained glass window
made from a drawing of mine
a Red Kite wheeling in sky
looking for the windpath
my bird of prey guarding me.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am in isolation, as my eldest son came home with the unwelcome present of coronavirus. Our front door is now both our guard and, at times, a symbol of imprisonment. In writing this poem, I thought about the other doors I have lived behind. I have told of the two that I have made my own.

kim

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kim Whysall-Hammond is a Londoner who has been published by Total Eclipse,  Fourth and Sycamore, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Amaryllis, London Grip New Poetry and Crannóg. An expert in obsolete telecommunications arcana, Kim believes, against all evidence, that she is a good dancer.  She shares poetry on her blog, thecheesesellerswife.wordpress.com.