“Through the Yellow Door” by Joyce GQ Block

Joyce GQ Block


Dakota was revved,
struggling against the inevitable.
Tomorrow would be her first day of pre-school.
“I can’t close my eyes
because they have batteries and dreams in them,” she said.
Then she fell asleep for the next thirteen hours.

In the morning she marched out
to meet the school bus.
Turkey bacon on her breath,
Bow wow baby dolly in one hand,
and a pink Barbie lunch box in the other.

We sat on the curb waiting,
but the school bus sped by
leaving a yellow streak.
“Will it come back?” she asked.
I told her yes and dialed the school.

“The bus went right by us,”
I told the woman who answered.
“We expected him to come back,
but he didn’t.”
I want to say, Please,
her f-a-t-h-e-r abandoned her.
Don’t let this happen.

I told Dakota the bus would come back.
I told her the lady at the school said so.
She held her nap pillow so close
that it fell out of its plastic grocery bag.
“It’s all dirty now,” she said.
We brushed it off and sat back on the curb.
She snuggled on my lap
and we looked at the birds.

“Do birds have tickets to fly south?” she asked.
“No,” I said, “some creatures don’t need tickets to fly.”

When the school bus came,
I took her picture going through the yellow door.
I tried to take another of her at the window,
but the bus left far too fast.

from Rattle #8, Winter 1997


Joyce GQ Block: “I am a woman of many designs, it seems. Along with my counseling and consulting practice, I have owned two nutritional companies. I developed the Visual Somapoem Process in which my clients do personal research combining poetry, music, and images to create multimedia journal entries. A recent ‘way over 50’ single parent of a teenager and three-year-old, I am writing, photographing, and clawing my way back.”

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