The Key- Poem by Eric Schoonover

The Key


While planting bulbs, a rusty lump rose

up, a treasure of the past. My brushing


revealed a key, suggesting unthought hope

of spaces in the past and locked away.


Might it have fit the lock of my house,

slyly slipping from one venturing forth in haste,


those many years ago, protecting four scant rooms,

“two-over-two” they’re called: large pots simmering


treasures and smoking up the beams hung

with slabs of haddock, hams, and braids of onions?


The lock it fit is gone . . . so many years ago. I know

of every owner of this house since 1735—all sixteen.


Which one of those dashed out to market

and allowed the key to grow its meaning in the garden


of daylily, lilac, hollyhock—sturdy

New England stock? I gently placed it


in my pocket to find it later broken into

brownish bits and unable to fit into any lock.



-Eric Schoonover  ©



erik schoonover

Eric Schoonover is a writer, boatbuilder and watercolorist living in Gloucester. He is the author of the award-wining The Gloucester Suite and Other Poems and a novel, Flowers of the Sea.




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