FItted wardrobes - sliding doors

Biscuit carpet, flecked so lightly

Beige walls apologise politely

Tasteful picture – autumn scene

Tidy, antiseptic-clean

Pin-pleat curtains, even-spaced

Stand attentive – straight-laced

Neatly turned, the chocolate covers

Not rumpled by children or pets or lovers

Plumped up pillows in position

Cushions “scattered” with precision

Library books in neatened stack

Bookmark-dated when due back

This is the perfect camera shot

This is the public face

A life of straightened order

With everything in place

But cast aside the sliding doors with easy, graceful glide

Discover there the clutter – the reality inside.

Dishevelled suit, disgruntled coats

A worn-out ancient jacket

A two-man tent, a dead umbrella

And a stringless tennis racket

A bustling crowd of shirts and tops

All clamouring for attention

Cacophony of threadbare socks

Protesting their dissension

A frisby and a rugby shirt

Still caked in orange mud

A crumpled heap of hankies

Smeared with snot and streaks of blood

Slacks and jeans and trousers in crumpled disarray

Tumultuous heap of tracksuits never see the light of day

Wellingtons all caked with mud that once I meant to clean

Amidst a footwear riot with boot-boys on the scene

They jostle and they bustle – they’re readyto go lootin’

And if you try to stop them then they’ll surely put the boot in

A waterfall of jigsaw pieces springing from the box

And flattened beyond usefulness, a tube of shuttlecocks.

A sleeping bag (unravelled) joins the wild affray

Six Christmas packs (unopened) of deodorising spray

A pile of childhood comics, all suited to a boy

A CD-cases pyramid and a dog-eared cuddly toy

The doorbell chimes – I hasten the wardrobe doors to close

Descend to greet my guests, adopting welcome pose

“So, how are you?” they greet me.

“I’m good,” I say, “I’m fine.”

They step across the WELCOME mat

But they never cross the line.

We maintain social nicety that carefully ignores

The lives that we keep hidden inside smiling, sliding doors.

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