Outside the Door

I cannot see what lies
Outside the door
When I am safe behind it.

I hear voices
Loud and bold.
Are they broad and jubilant?
Are they escalating to laughter
or to an argument?

A voice raises an octave.
The speed of speech quickens.
I am nervous and unsure.
Do I look and see who is
Outside the door?

I work in a courthouse.
It’s filled with lawyers,
defendants and civilians.
It’s a rotating door of
comings and goings.

The clicking of high heels
Echo down the hall
Until they disappear
Around the corner.

The walls in my office
Are not as thick as
One would think.
Concrete is not a great insulator
Against the reverberant noise.

When all is quiet,
I hear the tick-tock
of the clock
High up on the wall.
It looks down
A bird’s eye view.

In the beginning,
I had the best office
with two huge windows
overlooking College Hill.

Always the sound of cars,
of construction,
of landscapers,
Even voices of those below
Peppered my days.

Now I’ve been moved
to a more active part
of the courthouse.
With a small window
Overlooking the quad.

It is grey no matter the season.
The rays of sun
Hardly get to seep down
Into the square space.

Noise permeates 
outside my door.
It is a good thing.
Quiet days tend to extend into 
A very long work day
And I am counting the hours
Until I can get outside.

I crave solitude.
At times, I crave 
The silence.
The world is not
A quiet place.

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