Who’s Behind the Door

The quiet words, the trembling lips,
__we’ve heard it all before.
Keen questions dwell within our minds,
__like who’s behind the door.

We saw the lights, heard voiceless words,
__asked, “Is there any more?”
The speaking’s frail and actions flail,
__but who’s behind the door?

The Wizard drew his curtain and
__he fooled the land of Oz.
But when the curtain opened up
__they saw just who he was.

He turned the wheel, he honked the horn,
__he put on such a show.
The room was filled with smoky light
__and braggadocio

As cultures clash and leaders stall,
__great fearfulness prevails.
When people feel they’ve been left out,
__then lo, their system fails.

All people want to feel secure.
__They want their qualms allayed.
As leaders walk on shells of eggs,
__the folks feel sore afraid.

We feel compelled, we have to know
__real answers, we implore.
Please tell the truth and let us know,
__Who’s that behind the door?



R.M. Zimmerman is a poet based in North Carolina. He was born and raised in “the real Appalachia” and began writing poetry over 60 years ago. 

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20 Responses

  1. Cynthia Erlandson

    “The room was filled with smoky light and braggadocio.” What a great line! Thanks for this good metaphor for (I think?) sinister governments.

    • robert

      Thank you for your complimentary words. I’ve always wanted to use “braggadocio” in a poem.

  2. jd

    That line jumped out for me also, especially that last great word. Enjoyed the poem, R.M.

    • robert

      Thank you for your positive comments . I am a BIG fan of quatrains, couplets and exact rhymes.

  3. Cheryl Corey

    Gee, who could it be behind that curtain? The current White House resident? Exposed for the great phony that he is? Thanks, R.M. I hope to see more of your poetry here.

    • robert

      Hi Cheryl. Thank you for your great comments. This is my first entry here. I would like to see that curtain pulled all the way back.

  4. Paul Freeman

    My money’s on Steve Bannon or whoever told the previous White House resident about invisible airplanes.

    Thanks for the read, RM.

    • robert

      Hello Paul. I’d like the door opened to see what is in that office today. Thank you for your comments.

  5. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    What a great poem. What a great question… a question on many lips, I feel sure. Like Cynthia, I like the “smoky light and braggadocio” image. I think many are aware of the answer… especially if they’ve followed the immutable truth trail shining beyond the dark, fear-laced, ever-morphing lies thrown at us every day… by a greedy gang of freedom eaters.

  6. robert

    Hello Susan. Thank you very much for your complimentary words. Many people don’t believe the truth these days because they seldom see it or hear it. I believe it was Poe that said, “Believe none of what you hear and only half you see.” It’s hard to believe anything these days.

  7. g.KayeNaegele

    An excellent read technically with poignant questions. Nice flow, rhyme, rhythm and metaphors surrounding this most salient question, which for me, seems prevalent between two oppositional groups with differing beliefs to truth. Does each side believe they know who the “wizard” really is, and why is truth so difficult to find in our information culture. Intriguing and well done.

    • robert

      Thank you for your insightful comments and complimentary words regarding style.

  8. Mia

    What a beautifully composed thought-provoking poem.
    I have read it a few times and then I thought,
    perhaps, God is behind the door, listening to the din
    and waiting to see just when He should intervene.
    Thank you for a poem that can make us think in different ways.

    • robert

      Thank you, Mia, for your interesting interpretation and complimentary words. I am pleased you enjoyed it.


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