Front Door

I met so many people
painting our first front door
but it wasn’t just painting
it never is.
First chipping away rotten wood
and then an artful working of filler
to recreate the simple mouldings
a grey undercoat that smooths
before, finally
a loving coat of shiny navy blue.

It too all of a long day
on a very busy street
first the postman gave advice
then the guy delivering newspapers
to the shop three doors away
commented on how few women
paint front doors
our roofer stopped to say hello
and discuss the precarious roof
a new neighbour introduced themselves
complemented my work
offered friendship
finally my parents arrived
and made tea.

I remember this, as I hide behind
another front door in another house.
We wipe its UPVC surface with alcohol
to remove virus, and
don’t touch the mail until its a day old,
no live virus on it then.
This front door isn’t elderly wood
but hidden steel within shiny white.
When we lock it, nine bolts
shoot from its interior
into the strengthened frame.
In its centre a double glazed
stained glass window
made from a drawing of mine
a Red Kite wheeling in sky
looking for the windpath
my bird of prey guarding me.

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond


First published by published by Silver Birch Press:

19 thoughts on “Front Door

    1. THank you! I love that glass! The door was supplied by a small local company. There was a choice of stained glass patterns but we didn’t really like them so they said they could do a design of our own for an extra £200. When I drew the Red Kite, they told us that we were in excellent company, as they had just completed a set of stained Glass Red Kites for John Paul Getty the third!


  1. The whole notion of a door has taken on a new significance in these days. Here, in SA, post is no longer delivered, no need to visit the postbox anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A very effective exercise in contrasts–medium and method, then and now, old ways and new that must replace them for now…and that guardian is a symbol as I see it, of both power and freedom. Hopefully someday we will be flying free again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is a beautiful door! I know too well the wiping down of the door and the mailbox. It’s become a daily ritual. No one comes knocking anymore as we all keep to ourselves in hope of surviving.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A beautiful piece of stained-glass art in your door, Kim! I love the way your poem shifts from the practicalities of painting a door in the first stanza to everyday life on a busy street, and back to practicalities, this time under lockdown. The stained-glass window with its red kite is full of hope.

    Liked by 1 person

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