“Restless Guests” by Jennifer Cosby


Did you know that
the village you are
trudging through
has an eternally
priceless soul?
No, it does not
require approval
or the recognition
you claim to bestow.

It exists fully,
and entirely
on its own.

You are welcome
to come only if you
promise to leave
this territory in its
original condition.
And I promise you
a place to return to
should you ever
forget my position.

What is it about
the prospect of not
having to clean up
after a mess that
encourages a
guest to wreak
havoc in another
person’s home?

Or to completely
disregard the order
already established
by inhabitants who
have opened up and
allowed themselves
to be vulnerable?

You are the traveler
made tired by
long nights—with
lonely eyes focused
on a dark and winding road.

But restless guests
who leave damage
behind them will not
be invited back
after they are gone.