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 ©
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.