The Mess

During the visit,
there’s something about
the clothes strewn on the floor
soon to be dumped in the washer,
wallet lying on the dresser,
cell plugged in,
bed comforter in shambles

because the messiness
means he’s home.

Now with air miles accumulated
back in the familiar time zone,
his room shines, neatness
grating on my nerves,
silence like receiving
the cold shoulder.

My hand pulls back the comforter,
tousling, creating wrinkles and lumps
in the navy fabric as though rumpled
from a restful night’s sleep,
then I pull some old shirts from the
closet, tossing them on the floor
just so I can pretend the good-byes
hadn’t found freedom.

Lauren Scott (c)