Heart-constriction at the thought of the door from the kitchen out to the back garden, or the window letting in western light with its parade of roof-slates and chimney-pots. Or the way their wardrobe was filled with promise or some darker invitation: go in, close the door, vanish into the time before you were at all, breathing its odours of mothball and lavender, feeling the thick silky fox-head of fur, knowing the smell of dresses, how they swayed, the thin click of hangers, scent of laundered shirts, the crisp touch linen had to fingertips. All theirs, all there, and you might disappear into their pre-history, before you’d arrived, eyes and voices you’d never seen or heard. Never again such browns. Even the tall armoire in the room your lover lodged in wasn’t it, its pondered mahogany taking to itself the lustrous rubbings of dusk-being a mystery unopened, imperturbable, no key in the lock. While the wardrobe in your parents’ room was an open book, its pages adrift in infinity, woodshades, dark of the world.
Eamon Grennan, a Dubliner, taught for many years at Vassar College. His collections include Out of Sight: New & Selected Poems (Graywolf, 2010), and There Now (Gallery) Press/Graywolf. 2016). In the past ten years he has been writing and directing 'plays for voices' for Curlew Theatre Company, Connemara.