Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Butterfly Hours Memoir Project: DOOR

For 2019 I'm running a year-long series on my blog in which I share my responses to the writing assignment prompts found in THE BUTTERLY HOURS by Patty Dann.

I welcome you to join me, if you like! I've divided the prompts by month, and the plan is to respond to 3 (or so) a week. For some of these I may write poems, for others prose. The important thing is to mine my memory. Who knows where this exploration will lead?
In January I wrote about: apron, bar, basketball, bed, bicycle, birthday, boat, broom, button, cake, car.

In February: chair, chlorine, church, concert, cookbook, couch, dancing, desk, dessert, dining room table, diploma.

Here are March's prompts: divorce, door, dream, emergency room, envelope, eyebrows, first apartment, first job, food, game, garden.


My mother's dream was for all seven of us (parents and 5 kids) to live in a one-room cabin – no doors. This thought made my stomach knot. I've always needed and appreciated privacy.

Our house on Willie Road in Folsom, Louisiana was a ranch-style home, all one level. It had a long, narrow wood-paneled hallway, off of which all the bedrooms were located. We kids would close all the doors and literally climb the walls (one foot and hand on either wall of the hall).

When I was a teen and my boyfriend came over, the rule was “door open.” I understood, but I didn't like it. One time we broke the rule, and there was my father banging on the door, bellowing for us to open it.

When our teenage son was going through some stuff, we removed his bedroom door. His eyes glittered in a way I'd never seen before. His stomach was probably as knotty as mine had once been upon hearing my mother's one-room cabin idea.

Sometimes when I think about that same son who is now far away, I breathe this message into the air: you are loved; the door is always open.


  1. Poignant memories from that one word, door. I remember my mother telling me that she could tell how my day had been when I came home from school if I slammed my bedroom door or simply closed it. I guess parents do notice doors, especially when children grow older and begin to close them.

  2. ahhh doors... I had one child that liked to hide behind them to scare people when they walked by and one child that swore I could see though them because I was a witch that wanted to make her life miserable


Your thoughts?