It’s hard to see the chips and stains on walls
where visitors are supposed to feel welcome,
at home in aesthetically pleasing surroundings.
Each time I walk in, the furniture is rearranged
into a configuration that tells me my in-laws
are staying longer than I anticipated.
The scratches, the dents, the torn bedsheet corner
is so unpleasant, just like the hard wooden slats
you are placing over the mattress so your father
feels more comfortable sleeping on the bed
than on the floor. Why does this bother me so much?
Is it because my in-laws are making their mark
in our home, or because they are burrowing into the room,
into my being in ways I do not yet understand?
What if the chips and stains, scratches and dents,
the torn bedsheet corner are all signs of life,
not a sterile room staged for a home
I was not meant to live in?
Maybe the guest room is their room,
the heart space their space to teach me
about inviting more vulnerability in.