“Her Door” and My Door By Sydney Smith
Her Door By Mary Leader For my daughter Sara Marie There was a time her door was never closed. Her music box played “Für Elise” in plinks. Her crib new-bought—I drew her sleeping there. The little drawing sits beside my chair. These days, she ornaments her hands with rings. She’s seventeen. Her door is one I knock. There was a time I daily brushed her hair By window light—I bathed her, in the sink In sunny water, in the kitchen, there. I’ve bought her several thousand things to wear, And now this boy buys her silver rings. He goes inside her room and shuts the door. Those days, to rock her was a form of prayer. She’d gaze at me, and blink, and I would sing Of bees and horses, in the pasture, there. The drawing sits as still as nap-time air— Her curled-up hand—that precious line, her cheek… Next year her door will stand, again, ajar But she herself will not be living there.
Theme: As time passes, change often follows, which, despite being natural, can often lead individuals to wistfully remember the past.
1: Formative Years Hesitantly, I amble through the halls that I am seeing for the last time. It is my final day of school in the district that has educated me since youth, employed with the difficult task of quasi-taming my often over-inquisitive mind. I have already bid my teachers farewell, and my few friends wished me luck on my journey. I was eager to leave, eager to experience a world away from this one, in which so many wrongs done to me were never truly righted. Now, however, I have increasing trepidation as my uncertain future looms, ever closer, before me. Even at my young age, I realize that a change in my academic environment is necessary, yet I also recognize that many of my formative years have been spent within these blue and gold walls. Despite hoping that my new school will be different, I fear the worst. 2
2: For a New Passion Gradually, I realized that dance was no longer bringing me joy. As more of my time became consumed and the number of nights that I spent crying after competitions increased, my passion for the sport dissolved. It was one of the hobbies that I began to categorize myself with (What does Sydney do? She dances, of course!), but I had begun to set my vision on different activities. I hoped to focus on my studies as I moved into highschool, and thought it would be beneficial to become involved in a more team-like atmosphere. As I drive home from my final performance, tears begin to stream in rivulets down my face, echoing my cries from many evenings prior. I imagine myself in several years as hopefully being happier, yet still longing for the rush that I felt when I entered the bright lights of the stage. 3
3: The Right Half I’d always embraced the side of myself that I referred to as my “darkness.” It was my fascination with the sinister aspect of life, my ability to creatively write stories often centered around macabre topics, and my acceptance of my depressive emotions. However, I was becoming dragged down by my thoughts, limited by the hurt that I was internally feeling. I suddenly launched myself into a process of healing, and my darkness faded away. I was afraid that this may happen, but more anxious that I would miss the way my overhanging shadow felt when it was gone. I no longer yearn for that contaminated part of myself; however, now and again I wonder how my life would be different if I had never closed the door on my other half.
4: Transition Period Previously, I glorified the idea of attending a college somewhere far from Pennsylvania, desperately in love with meeting a diverse student body and enrolling in classes in centuries-old institutions. The coming few months are now my last not only in my home, but in my country. This is the chapter I am in the process of unlocking: the next four years of my life. To enter a new world, however, I also need to exit one, just as many of my peers prepare to do. I expect to miss home a substantial amount when I am gone, but in this case, I am more concerned for my family, and enraptured by the anxiety that I may not return. 5