Issue No. 13, Summer 2015

House of Mystery
Courtney Bates-Hardy

At seven, you appear in the hallway of the same house
Every time you dream. The wood panelling is dark,

Like the paintings on the walls. You know your family
Is here, trapped in different rooms, but the doors shift

And lock. A witch awaits with her dogs; she only
Chases you when you lose your way, breathing too

Hard to remember where you’ve been. At twelve,
You realize you’ve never seen the witch: a shadow

On the wall with long teeth that recede each time
You dream again but the doors still won’t open

Or let you see where you are. At eighteen,
You only dream of the doors, floating in air,

Stretching into clouds or fire. At twenty,
The dream has stopped but you still walk

Down a hallway with many doors,
Opening one after another.


Courtney Bates-Hardy holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Regina. Her work has been published in several literary journals, including Carousel and Room. Her first chapbook, Sea Foam, was published by JackPine Press in 2013. When she’s not writing poetry, you can find her reading comic books or practicing yoga. She lives in Regina with her husband and their imaginary dog.