Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Keys

The Keys

Chain the keys together. The look of their teeth
will tell you nothing, but at least they are fluent

in locks. Keys let us talk to our houses, our vehicles,
identify us as their careful owners. Here I am again,

we tell them, or I will come back for you. Tied together,
they are a record of belonging. Some show what

we used to own, or where we used to go: a house,
states away, or an office bulldozed three years ago.

A key can be homeless this way. And we see purpose
in it. One day, we will encounter a locked place

that we need to enter. And the key that fits into nothing
will whisper into this lock’s secret mouth, Let me in.


  1. Leave it to you to 1) write a poem about the being of keys, and 2) hone in on the lost and broken ones. Use and uselessness seem to be the flip sides of your poetic coin. Nicely done!

  2. I have such a hard time throwing away keys. You've captured perfectly why.

  3. This one really resonates with me. Especially because my ex boyfriend and I kept each other's keys (for some reason, which may have been a bad idea, but I dunno, I like it).

  4. Hannah, so well done. Wonderful concluding lines.

  5. I love and hate keys at the same time...I love your poem as always! xoxo

  6. Oh my, the homeless keys. It never occurred to me that I'm waiting for them whisper to a lock's secret mouth. Very nice Hannah!

  7. Hi Hannah,
    Now, when I hold my keys, I will know there is poetry in them. Thank you!


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