My wife and kids were out of town. I waved them off
and as I returned I am sure it took a few more steps
to walk the length of the garden path,
a brick in the doorstep wobbled like a tooth
and the open door appeared to gape
wider than it has ever done before.

On Saturday I slept in late, didn’t shave,
my unwashed pots formed a crummy stubble,
wore their sheen of milk like a vest,
my coffee cup sported a new brown tattoo
while the kitchen sink seemed to swallow whole
my small family of pots like Gepetto in his whale;
the house flopped about me like a sweater,
and a new echo followed me from room to room.

By Sunday I could ride my bike along the hall,
run time trials up and down its mountainous stairs,
kick a football between its walls;
soon the house had grown so much I could slip
beneath its doors, squeeze through its keyholes,
and if I didn’t take care, I could drop like a needle
down the cracks between the floorboards;
so I retreated to a shoe box beneath the stairs.

On Monday my family returned with noise and play.
They called into the closets and nooks,
rummaged in all the spaces and places
where things are discovered, but it was my wife
who found me in a drawer, neatly rolled,
folded into myself like a pair of socks.

She stretched me out, pressed my arms and legs,
pulled me back into shape with her embrace,
recovered me with kisses, filled me with a knowing smile,
then asked, ‘so what did you do while I was away?’