he doesn’t overly care for visitors
is awkward in the hosting role
doesn’t know where to put people
what to serve them or when
how to ensure they feel welcome
and are catered for

it is a long standing problem
a sense of inadequacy
that goes back as far in his life
as memory will take him

even when among those who are as close
as the feeling of skin
rubbed between two fingertips
he is overwhelmed by his own irrationality
regarding standards and decorum

when he visits others
he expects little
a seat placed out of harms way
some conversation
and to be tolerated
a shivering stray
periodically embraced and warmed
then released intact

if at a gathering
he gradually becomes translucent
engages in slips of conversation
but attends the corners
the outskirts of the crowd
alone and uncomfortable
half-dazed until he can escape
be alone for a moment
draw a deep breath
ease the tautness

he likes people
observes them closely
drinks them in
and knows the urge to be of them
but finds no assurance
mistrusts linkages
leans towards the safety of a solitaire

and tends to not encourage visitors


it is quiet here today
the place next door is vacant
neighbours are at work
the traffic is nowhere near

sometimes when it’s like this
I can almost imagine the sound
of a ray of sunshine
falling to earth
a warm sound
felt rather than heard

the house is freshly clean
everything newly in its place
I’ve noticed that tidiness exudes silence
eased only with the misplacement of objects
and return to a semblance
of interactive residence
I don’t cope well with tidiness

the washing went on the line early
although already over a day old
memory for tasks is elusive
and one day can seem very like another

the mail is in
and I have circled the yard
front and back
to assess the progress of grass in the lawn
weed in the garden beds

lunch has been taken



it’s so quiet
only my thoughts are loud
and my heartbeat

I could wish
almost wish

that someone might drop by

© Frank Prem, 2017

Poem #05: vetting for the ramen restaurant


11 thoughts on “visitors

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