oconnell door
Living on the Second Floor
by Carolyn O’Connell

This door is solid lets in no light.
I walk to it through corridors lit by
globes that never dim, even at night,
as I walk mirrors echo my image back to me,
and black & white photos nod.

Every apartment has a pairing door
behind which my neighbours
live their secret lives. Tall black
planters filled with toped box trees,
seasonal flowers guard the entrance.
We pass through sliding glass doors
into a hall that’s filled with sunlight.

Behind my door I look upon
a garden filled with flowers:
blackbirds frolic on the lawn,
long tailed tits scatter over silver birches
and a robin, a wren nest secretly
beneath the balcony of my neighbour,
darting to feed in the hedge of holly.

When I open my windows
I hear their song, an orchestra
of birdsong plays morning & evening
over the other gardens, I can see
where forsythia ignites its yellow flowers
later camellia, and roses will come in summer glory.

Sometimes I see afar silent people move.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  This poem is inspired by my front door, which, unlike others I have lived behind, has no windows or decoration. For the first time in my life, I’m living in an apartment block. It’s the first time I’ve not had a front door onto the street and a garden of my own. However it looks over a garden and has a view of the other houses and gardens in the street, and I have used them to inspire this poem.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carolyn O’Connell lived in London but now lives in Cheshire U.K. She has been published in Envoi, Reach, and other magazines, online and print, and in anthologies. Her debut collection Timelines was published by Indigo Dreams 2014.
Her poems have been translated into Romanian via The University of Bucharest Translation Café/Poetrypf.com PoetryR/O project. Visit her blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, at Goodreads, and here.