There are entryways that don’t get a second glance

this lock on the door to the laundry which I turn

too often, washing my son’s sweet potato stained shirts,

and wish it was more than a tiny space

between the house and garage or die a little

knowing this load is far from last, though

it is a blessing, even this narrow corridor,

where a spider makes his webs in every corner,

even the keyhole, turning his tapestry of insides

into a trap that feeds future empires of silk spinners

I reload the dryer, close the door and turn the lock over,

its mechanism, an empire of entries and exits

that allow a home to carry on


folding my son’s tiny clothes,

I think of my own tiny empire- this house,

this tiny boy who’ll know so little of the lock’s work-

its inventor’s late nights, cold dinners, raw fingers,

the carrying on, turning over of self.

Tamara Hart is a Ukrainian American poet. Her work ranges in subject matter from her heritage, motherhood, womanhood, immigration and the passage of time. She received her MFA at Drew University and works as an English instructor. Her work is forthcoming or appears in Mom Egg Review, Lunch Ticket, Naugatuck River Review, The New Engagement, Driftwood Press, Lamplighter Magazine. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in New Jersey with her son and two overfed cats.