A wood gate stands between me and the stairs;
It bars me from the basement in my youth.
I peer across the open slats, each tooth
That stretches to my head’s unruly hairs.
My mother pulls the gate down – I go down
Into the well-lit, white wood-paneled basement.
The place I go is where I found a space meant –
For me beneath the stairs, a blanket-gown
Tacked over it for me. A Mickey Mouse
Turntable plays an Elvis record, voice
As clear and cozy as the space behind
The stairs – a place of privacy, clubhouse
My giant Snoopy and I had. The joys
I knew there need to come, refresh my mind.