The Sacred House


Photo by Chelsea Cook on


            I knock on the door of the sacred house.

            A saint peeks out.

            “Let me in, please.”

            “Not until you are rid of your possessions.”

            I sell the furniture, even the cradle

and the cobbler’s bench. 

I give away the couch and the brocade chairs.


            I knock on the door of the sacred house.

            “Not enough,” says the saint.  “Come back later.”

            I empty the kitchen, sell the Fiesta ware.

I  give away knives, wooden spoons, whisks, and spatulas. 

Out go books and journals, my life-long friends and life stories.

            Knock, knock!

            “Try harder!” Slam.


            I give all my clothes to the women’s shelter. 

I throw lotions, salves, and pills into the dustbin. 

Should I keep my toothbrush?

            Knock, knock, knock!

            “You’re getting there,” she says kindly. “Keep on.”


            I sit in my underwear, my empty house echoing. 

Closets, shelves, walls are bare.

            What else remains?

            I throw away my sorrow a hundred times,

  like emptying a sandbox with a tweezer.

            I throw away my anger, but it keeps bouncing back

as if I’m playing wall ball.

            I throw away guilt and finally, fear. 

Such sticky stuff takes hours of scraping.


            At last, naked outside and in, I knock again.

            “Ah,” she says, reaching out her holy hand, “Yes.  Here you are. 

Welcome home.”

2 thoughts on “The Sacred House

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s