Scarborough Milk Door, a Photo-poem by Catherine Raine with Recording by Sean McDermott

When soldiers returned to father the Boomers,
this house had a miniature door
for bottles to enter full and leave empty,
waiting to turn opaque with cream again.

After the rise of supermarkets, the portal changed to a window,
six milky panes slap-spackled in the brick,
intimate economies traded
for plastic jugs, sloshing bags, and Snippits.

Today, morning rays tremble where hinges once swung,
and light is the currency of nourishment.
Absence has punched through the wall,
dispensing with chiseled finesse.
But thanks to the glass, tactless bricks
do not efface the door’s memory.

Instead, as stained-glass surrenders to water,
transparency releases pools of color,
visual sighs for the lost,
and prayers for anguished strength
to carry memories of the dead.

Six thick panes for discarded cradles,
rusty skate keys, and faded bowling prizes.
One shelf for the clink of empties, echoes of booming demands to grow up strong.

Milk door to window,
necessary to obsolete.
What shines can seed the deepest soil.
And what empties to nothing
holds rivers of radiant ghosts
that shimmer, swirl, and eddy in aching gold.

Join the conversation


  1. This is a marvellous and heart warming piece of work… My first encounter with a format (photo and poem) I’ve often dreamed of creating myself… The mastery of both poem and photo are deeply intriguing – a subtle sensation near my heart. Thank you Catherine.

  2. Your sensitive and generous viewing/reading of the photo-poem has uplifted my whole day! Thank you!

  3. Hi again Catherine, I didn’t read your whole email…. Yes, lets have coffee together… that would be grand! I’ll PM you on Facebook when heading there… Jude

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