Prospective Immigrants Please Note

For the last four-and-a-half years, this poem was taped to the day-job’s office door, right over the knob, where I could see it every day as I inserted the key into the lock.

Either you will
go through this door
or you will not go through.

If you go through
there is always the risk
of remembering your name.

Things look back at you doubly
and you must look back
and let them happen.

If you do not go through
it is possible
to live worthily

to maintain your attitudes
to hold your position
to die bravely

but much will blind you,
much will evade you,
at what cost who knows?

The door itself
makes no promises.
It is only a door.

–Adrienne Rich, Prospective Immigrants Please Note

I peeled the paper off the door today and brought it home, where I write to you from the dining room table, lighter by a couple keys and a whole lot of anger.

Life is good.

One thought on “Prospective Immigrants Please Note”

  1. Amen. I’m glad the day-job is behind you, and that the lighter load leads to much happiness and contentment.

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