We are moving the cat’s scratching post from its usual place-
In front of the stereo- to a more discreet spot behind the recliner.
The Kleenex box rests politely in a cubby below the coffee table.
In every room, wastebaskets have been emptied.
The dishwasher was run and unloaded; both sinks shine.
Vacuum tracks break up the regular pattern of the carpet.
Someone has even prevailed upon Dad to pull down his
Worn for a week now T-shirt in order to cover his
Unwashed for two weeks now gut.
(No one was able to convince him the occasion
Calls for actual bathing; it’s not that important.)
Today, we are having company. Semi-invited guests.
Relatives we visit with twice a year are making the hour long trip.
No holiday. They just want catch up in person.
And so we will see them. And they will see us as we want to be seen.


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