In one small section of my brain,
the door eases shut,
but the light remains.
Around the corner down the hall,
a different storage room collects dust.
The room’s old light bulb is ice cold to the touch;
frail and unused — surely unable to stay on
without blinking with uncertainty.
In this hall, the floors are cracked,
stained with years of
children scurrying to and from,
beyond the walls of just one room.
Over time the department gets smaller
Old lightbulbs collect inside a box.
Soon, the hall empties — boxes stack,
Walls weaken with age,
doors rust unused.
Occasionally, maintenance is done;
a curious growing child goes back
to her roots, seeking what she once knew.
Boxes are pried open, doors swing wide;
the hall lights up as the dust is washed off.
Each room brightens temporarily.
At the end of the day, the girl goes home,
and the boxes shut;
seemingly neglected still,
dust piles again.
She leaves with intentions to go back;
to revisit and clear the dust.
One day she hopes
to keep the department alive,
for as long as she can help it.