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Weekend Alone

A man’s weekend alone
Begins with his home in good order,
The beds made,
The washing machine empty.
And with effort it ends that way,
Though in between
Drawers forget to close,
Entire wardrobes renew friendships
With floors, carpets,
and the inviting edges of doors
The kitchen sink suggests there has been no water for weeks
Books and papers
Find freedom from files and shelves
Moving as if released from stanchions and stalls
Backing out slowly
Then headed toward the barn door.
No longer knowing or caring where they belong
And clearly not wanting to be there
Every available naked surface
Is covered with clutter
And the man’s shoulders
Have dropped down below his earlobes
The toilet seat up
The bed littered with paper plates and plastic saucers
Crumbs marking newly hewn trails to the pantry
Where mice and chipmunks now share in his bounty
And insects abide.
The car never leaves the driveway
The TV is inert
A good book about passion and poison
Falls off his chest every time he nods off to sleep
Never out of his pajamas
The air conditioner vibrating against closed windows
No outside inside
Just his pill bottles
And beer bottles
The last fry pan used
So that washing at least one pot
Becomes a necessity for survival
And although take-out is a possibility.
It is amazing what can be prepared
with refrigerator residue:
Whole casseroles and compotes
That taste spectacular
And shall never be recreated
The only known recipe being one for disaster
Which he avoids
With about fifteen minutes to spare
The dishes washed and cleared
The sink empty
The bed made
The floor clean
Mice and chipmunks on busses back to the west coast
Books and papers in neat piles
Waiting to be driven back into the barn
To slot themselves into the stalls where they belong
The man shaven and showered
And looking forward with great appreciation
To his woman’s immanent return.