Post Series: The Poems with Explanations Series: Twenty doors

Twenty doors

Door 1: no one
Door 2: no one
Door 3: a sign
Door 4: a peer from the window
Door 5: a shout
Door 6: no one (but noise)
Door 7: 1/5 of the speech – no
Door 8: 1/4 of the speech – no
Door 9: a sign
Door 10: the whole speech, a catalog, eighteen minutes – no
Door 11: door opens, door slams
Door 12: a shout
Door 13: a sign
Door 14: no one
Door 15: 1/5 of the speech – no
Door 16: A yes.  Only small, but a yes.
Door 17: the whole speech – no
Door 18: half of the speech with the door closed – no
Door 19: told to leave a card
Door 20: no one


This poem is about the experience of a door to door salesman.  The salesman experiences of variety of responses.

At some doors, no one is home (1, 2, 14, and 20).

At some doors there is a sign about not soliciting (3, 9, and 13).

At some doors somebody shouts to go away (5 and 12).

At some doors a portion of the sales speech is said with the door open, followed by a no response (7, 8, and 15).

At one door, no one answers, but someone peers from the window (4).

At another door, no one answers, but there is noise from inside (6).

At one door, the whole speech is given, the catalog is gone through, eighteen minutes are spent, but it ends in a no (10).

One door opens then slams shut (11).

At one door, the whole sales speech is given, but the answer is no (17).

At one door, whoever is inside won’t open the door.  They do listen to half the speech though before saying no (18).

One door won’t open, but the person on the other side says to leave a card (19).

One door, leads to a small sale (16).

The idea of the poem is to promote empathy for someone who has to go through something like the above on a daily basis.