Upstairs, Second Door on the Right

Posted by PJBraley on December 9, 2015


Tread softly up the stairs and down the hall

           to the door marked with yellow caution tape.

A warning?

            A decoration?

No light escapes under the door so you think,

            If it is empty, it must be safe.

                        So bravely you enter.


Sundown cuts through the blinds like a blade.

Scattered about like so much confetti you see

            games, books, clothes, shoes,

            discarded jackets falling off chairs,

                        a backpack hanging on a doorknob.

            Lego knights and Jedi knights locked in

                        eternal combat in a forgotten corner.


You think the room abandoned,

            the caution tape an unnecessary affectation.

But you are wrong.


No longer a boy – not quite a man –

            he sits on the floor in the shadows.

Head nodding to music

            you cannot hear.

Hands beating a tattoo in the air.


Aware of your presence,

            he looks up and smiles.

And, for a moment,

           light is everywhere.


For James,

Love never forgets its promise.

                                           - PJ