From the collection Picture Making, published 2017. The three photos served as the inspiration for the poem. For more information, look here.
The façade of the house
is as blank as
a face determined to see past you.
The front door
is shut tight
and layered over by a metal barred gate-door.
The kind of set-up you see
wherever people feel afraid of
who might knock.
Here at this house
you stand on the tiny concrete stoop.
You have the
a spotlight is shining on you
though it’s broad daylight. You squint
in the glare of the scrutiny you know
is coming at you
from the other side of the door.
You knock again. It’s me, you say,
voice raised to show no menace.
Let me in
I’ve brought the groceries
You hear what you expected to hear:
Leave them on the porch
You set the bags down
There are only two of them.
you step away from the door
your shoes making no sound as you
move down the street
wearing a blank face.