The Line

By | 1 February 2019

My aunt and uncle are coming
so in their honour I pile the books
against the walls, and hoover,
and stack the stairs with what
was on the floor — the angel oracle cards
with their almost-outsider art
which I bought for a pound and don’t regret,
the sellotape, the pens, the coins,
the takeaway menus,
the random post including
last year’s Christmas cards, the pack
of fridge magnets that haven’t made it
to the kitchen, a betting coupon,
stamps, receipts, the sort of crap
that other people have a drawer for
but I display for some reason
or at least don’t put away
and the reindeer paper napkins
that lie there all year
for when aunts and uncles come to visit
and because the lounge is full
when they’re here
I sit them in the hall,
thinking it’s tidy and sane,
not knowing what they say
on the drive home
about the state of the place, and me.
The line between bohemian
and not really coping is fine.

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