The Three Doors

The Three Doors long poem

Photo by pthread1981

Have you ever had an event so spectacular to occur that you could never understand why?
I did, and it changed my life forever.
One night, long ago, I awoke in an elegant hall.
Unsure of where to go, I stood up and walked forward.
The long hallway seemed never-ending, but I noticed something odd about this hall.
On every door on each side, there were depictions of a person’s life.
The first door I saw appeared to be the oldest, due to how weathered it was.
But, as I stepped towards it, the details became more prevalent.
This door showed a great tree bearing luxurious fruit, and there was a great serpent moving through its branches.
Then, a flaming sword appeared, driving the serpent away.
I continued moving on, glancing at door after door, until I reached the end of the hallway.
There were three doors waiting there, along with a cloaked figure.
“Do not be afraid, young one,” the stranger told me.
“What are you?” I asked him.
“I am the one who knows all and sees all.”
I looked at the doors in front of me and asked, “Why are these here?”
“All people will face the Test some time in their lives.
You, my child, must now face this same Test.”
“What must I do?”
“You simply must choose a door and enter through it.
This is the only way to leave this place.”
I turned around, and the figure was right.
All of those doors that I had just passed by were not there anymore.
I was facing a wall, as if this were a separate room.
“I will give you an opportunity to see beyond each of the three doors, but then you must decide,” the figure said.
So, I turned back, and I walked to the first door.
It was made of solid gold and inlaid with precious jewels.
Carved in the door were stacks of gold bricks and in the center stood a magnificent lion.
It shook its mane and walked off, leaving a cloaked figure behind.
The figure uncovered itself, and it was me.
I pulled out a sack from underneath my cloak and began counting the gold pieces inside.
As I began to walk, a crowd of people began to follow.
They were calling my name and praising me.
As they were bowing to me, I turned to face my people.
I pointed for them to go, and they scattered to the gold bricks.
They took them and, one by one, began to build a monument of me.
As the project was almost complete, the crowd turned against me and overthrew me from my throne.
The lion then returned and sat next to my body laying on the ground.
A golden light shone from above, and across that golden doorframe was the word “Power”.
I then walked to the second door.
This door was made of silver with fragments of broken mirrors inlaid.
Carved in the door were flowers and birds, and a majestic peacock sat in the center with its one-hundred eyes open.
It spread its wings and flew away, leaving a cloaked figure behind.
The figure uncovered itself, and it was me, but a more beautiful version of myself.
I pulled out a hand mirror from underneath the cloak and began to admire my image.
As I did, a crowd of people began to gather in awe of my beauty.
They were calling my name and praising me.
As they were bowing to me, I gazed briefly at my people.
I waved for them to leave, and they scattered.
They all then returned, each bearing gifts for me.
As the crowd grew to its largest size, I began to age rapidly.
The people ran, the birds flew away, the flowers closed; everything was disgusted with my ugliness.
The peacock returned and stood next me in my loneliness.
A silver light shone from above, and across that silver doorframe was the word “Beauty”.
I turned to the stranger and asked, “Why are you showing me this, my lord?”
He held out his hand, which I didn’t notice until now that there was a hole in the center of it, to the last door.
All he said was, “You still have one more.”
So, with hesitation in every step, I then walked to the final door.
This door was made of bronze, with nothing else added to the metal.
Carved in the door were inscriptions and letters in multiple languages, some that I recognized and some I didn’t.
In the center of this door was not a symbol of power or of beauty; in the center was a gentle lamb.
It stood on its beet and bound to its cloaked master behind it.
The figure uncovered itself, and it was me.
I stood with a shepherd’s crook in one hand and a large book in the other.
The lamb ran off, and I began to chase it.
As I did, I saw people turning their heads at me; some in disgust for how poor and lowly I was, and some in admiration of my protecting this little lamb.
Whenever people began to follow me, with the lamb at my side, I sat down with the people and read from the book as the letters and symbols began to move around us.
As I aged, the people didn’t rebel or shrink away.
They remained in awe of what I had to teach them.
Then, as I was upon my final breath, the people who were loyal and truly loved me gathered around, and the lamb laid down by my side.
A bronze light shone from above, and across that bronze doorframe was the word “Faith”.
“You must now face the hardest part of this Test,” the stranger told me.
He held out a golden orb from his holed hand.
“Take this, and make your choice.”
Once I took the orb from his hand, he disappeared.
With this in mind, I turned back to the doors and pondered my decision.
Are Power and Beauty that important to where people would hate me for it?
Is Faith worth all of that suffering for finding peace at the end?
I stood for a long time, and finally, I made my decision.
With the orb in my hand, I stepped forward and opened the door of my choosing.
When it opened, I saw an open field.
I walked through the tall grass and waiting for me at the top of the hill was none other than that cloaked stranger.
“You have chosen wisely, young one.”
The stranger uncovered his face, and I immediately bowed at his feet.
“Rise, my child, and take care of my sheep.”
He placed in my hand the shepherd’s crook and a leather-bound book, and a little lamb ran from behind him to my side.
So, this was my dream of the three doors, and to my final days, I have never regretted my choice of entering that bronze door.

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Kathryn Sain

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I've been writing poetry ever since middle school, but I've never really thought about releasing my work to the public until coming to college. Currently, I am studying music as my major and English as my minor.
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