Sunday, January 11, 2015

dark cellar door

The root cellar waits.

It stands behind you, to the left, in old photographs, oranged in age. It is there in your childhood, the subject of dares and the place you put your fears. The door was rarely opened, and only near noon. You’ve stood on its precipice and peered into its gloom. It always smelled of must and rust and cold, wet wants.

Your friends jeered at you and aped, but always from a safe distance, with the porch perched between them and you and the gloom. They peeped at you through the lattice work and squeaked bravely at one another. You never went inside. They never got so close.

The root cellar does not care. The root cellar waits.

It was there when you found that willing soul. It waited to take you in, backlit in the bright porch-light. You were too open then, beneath the bright stars. It could have offered you relative safety, and certain privacy, and convenient darkness to explore your newfound needs. You would never consider it. You got caught, of course.

You tried not to think much of the root cellar, then. Just as you try to never think of it, now. The root cellar still waits.

It was there after the fire, still set into that small mound. You watched it, sweating in the sunlight, on that bright cold day. The bulldozer drowned it in the ashen sticks of your childhood home. It collapsed; its secrets and mysteries and damp darkness buried beneath its own roof.

Nevertheless, the root cellar waits. It stays with you, in back of your mind, somewhere shadowed, off to the left. It is still filled with your fears and teeming unknowns and refuse-to-be-remembereds. It waits behind you, swelling closer, looming larger. Its old tin door is strained and buckling, about to burst.

The root cellar waits, ready to explode. It will take you with it.

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