just inside the front door
lies the sacred space through which we pass
between our inner and outer lives:

two pieces of carpet sample, on which are piled
shoes in numbers and styles that vary with the season

one slightly broken umbrella (blue and white)
and two one-pound dumbbells (green)

round rug patterned with the labyrinth
from Chartres cathedral

two needlework wedding gifts, mounted and framed

the key to the deadbolt, on a string

bells on a cord tied to the doorknob, so the dog can signal
she wants to go out, and no one can come or go
without making a certain amount of noise

heirloom wooden secretary on which sits
a basket full of mail and dog treats,
a wooden valet tray in the shape of a duck, full of keys,
and a stack of CDs from the car

above the door, a hand-carved wooden catfish
keeps watch over our comings and goings