You must prepare for the unexpected,
For even the best of hosts are caught off guard at the door
Holding exact change for a pizza when you see a
Bushy beard, growing over a Jovial smile,
And out twinkling two beady eyes that turn cold
As he refuses your offer to take his bag.
The room is minutes away from ready, so you make him
Wait in the drawing room to be entertained by the children
Who stare up at the glints that peek through the foliage.
You rush in to arrange the sheets and throw open the windows,
Set out an ashtray – he may have started smoking –
When you return he is performing card tricks,
He conjures up from behind your ears a coin from a country
You visited as a child,
And as his vast beard rustles to let him stand the groan of his coat
Takes you back to a night of regrettable decisions,
So you are distracted as you escort him to his room,
And you absently smile and tell him to make himself at home –
But somewhere in between his humming echoing downstairs
And the tea tray stumbling upstairs
He has already left.
Curled in his place is a cat, waiting to be fed.
by Krushna Dande