Our house has exactly twelve doors leading
into different rooms: the kitchen, Daddy's study,
a bunch of bedrooms, a sewing room, etc., etc.
There is one place in our house that has no real entrance:
Room 13 — that's the attic.
Out the window and up a tree and
around the drainpipe, carefully. This is the way
to room 13: a twisted storage closet
of odds and ends imprisoned
The dusty window offers pictures of
old trunks with huge padlocks and headless mannequins
and a short wooden table set with tiny cups and saucers
a tea party for midgets had been hurriedly
And sometimes, dark shapes clamber
among the piles of ancient trash — I say rats
but my brother says
I like to pretend they're elves
playing tea-time, day and night
innocent little parlor games to
pass the time away.
There are cracks in the ceiling, right
above my head; I hear them, when the house is quiet
I can almost see their fingers poking through
the crumbling plaster.
Tiny voices fill my ears
they follow me to sleep — a formal invitation
to join them in their games. I wake to wicked
firefly eyes and wonder
if I really
have a choice.
By Holly DayQLRS Vol. 9 No. 3 Jul 2010
Copyright © 2001-2023 The Authors