Hall’s End — A Dream


“Paper” — C.Birde, 4/19


Follow her –

that narrow mouse-

gray woman clad

in linen white,

adrift and drifting

down the long and

dim-choked hall

papered all in

dusky gold and

stroked with



Pause –

as she applies bone-

white knuckles

(tap tap tap)

to each arc-topped

dark-polished door

along the hallway’s


Watch –

the bend and slope

of shadows leap

(burning, sputtering)

from the white-wax

stick she holds aloft

in its bright brass


(tap tap tap)

Her knuckles


Observe –

some doors remain

tight shut, impervious

to her knock;

some inward swing

and open on clotted dark

and pale hands reach,

accept neat-folded

sheets stacked between

the lean woman’s

forearm and


Continue –

down the hall’s long

maw and to its end

where three shallow

dark wood steps

ascend to meet

a small lopsided



the woman taps

(scratch scratch scratch).

her index finger’s

neat-trimmed nail

and the door

(the door!)

(that small lopsided

dark wood door!)

flies open in a flash

and frames within

its toothless

crooked grin

a woman

(diminutive, aglow!)

of floss-pale hair

and dress.

Gasp –

but she has gone,

has snatched a set

of handkerchief-

sized sheets from

the stooped gray

woman’s outstretched

hand and darted

back within behind

the small door’s

closed and softly



(But wait!)

(Oh please!)





— C.Birde, 4/19


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