Opening your door: a manual. A poem by Mark Saunders


It is nearly time – we don’t know exactly
when – to open your front-door.

Firstly, find the door.
Do you remember where it is?
The door you need to open.
There it is.
You never even locked it!
But there was no need,
as there were no visitors.

Stand in front of the door.
Remember which way it opens?
To you? From you?
(Front doors mostly open into buildings
unless you are in Denmark,
where they open outwards
but you are probably not in Denmark).

Assess the handle, and what sort of grip is required.

Half step towards the door;
the body is declaring its intention.
Reach with arm towards handle.
Open hand.
Place hand over handle,
the door’s hand.
Close your hand. Tighten hand
in anticipation of turning.
Turn handle.

The door is now ready to open.


Shift your weight back.
It is the body that opens the door, not the hand.
Root the back foot to the floor.
Pull towards you.
The door used to open easily
but it is out of practice
and might require more pull than normal.
The new normal.


The door opens.
You can step forward now, through the frame.
You are crossing the threshold of your house
that you want to be outside of,
or no longer inside of.

(Are you looking forward to this or dreading it,
relaxed or a little tense,
breathing or not breathing at all?)

Don’t forget to close the door, unless
you are planning an about turn
like a cat who fears the rain.

Either way you must let go of the handle,
remember this,
you must let go,
you can’t take the door with you.


Mark is a freelance theatre-maker and writer, living in South Queensferry

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