Kay Mullen: "Closet Door"




Light from a window strikes the door

at a perfect angle and opens a plane

of aging oak. From my chair, 

I stare at the curved lines,

a random weave that seals the years

of constant cycle. The force of the panels

pulls me away from myself 

opens to a center of stars and swirling 


grains of sun. I enter the polished humps 

and hills, the spiraled lines 

of particle fields, winds and storms 

that set the ocean stirring. 

Fiery ribbons rise from volcanic lips,  

craters in space, tails of comets 

and burning rocks that bring me back 

to the winding valleys and stone  


striations, back to October leaves 

sweeping in circles around the fence.  

Was it falcon eyes above the knob 

that saw it fall, saw it begin a long


journey from there to the hinges 

that hold it here for me? 

Did they witness the cupped nests 

and pools of light, an eagle lift 

from the falling tip? The door opens 

a world of flaming dark

where the tree and I began 

as fragments and bits of cosmic bone.


Kay Mullen’s work has appeared in Crab Creek Review, Floating Bridge Review, Appalachia, San Pedro River Review, and others, as well as various anthologies. She has authored three full-length poetry collections, her latest, Even the Stones, in memory of her deceased husband. Her honors include a Washington State William Stafford award. She lives and teaches in Tacoma.