Saturday, October 15, 2005

Good Guests

We sit in a room armored by light and surrounded

by surfaces bright as mirrors. Everything shines and

gives comfort, nothing is out of place and our hosts,

too, are immaculate, each hair placed with the skill of

a jeweler. Our words flutter and fail, too dusty, while

theirs flow out in perfect paragraphs. We wonder why

they invited us, disheveled and in tatters as we are, to

enter their lives. Should we confess our unworthi-

ness? And oh we want to scour our brains for some

small accomplishment but find nothing worthy, noth-

ing to equal the gleaming parquet of their smiles.

They are so well-bred we can't believe our good luck,

all our gnarled deceits brought here to be honored!

And then, suddenly, we know: They're specialists to

whom we've come with our shabby guilts and petty

crimes to be killed with exquisite kindness.

-- Vern Rutsala


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