I grew up in the house of books and cat hair.
My bed was never made
and I cleaned my room once.
In college.
Things were sanitary,
We had a dishwasher,
clean-ish bathroom.
But neat,
or organized,
or clean,
were counties far far away
over the hills
and in another land.
Why make a bed just to sleep in it?
You can’t tidy a bookcase
when your books overflow
in large avalanches
from shelves and tables and stairs
and the floor and under the bed and
any other available surface.
Three, four, five cats, too,
do not for neatness make.
The fur of several cats ago
probably still hangs
from the underside
of something somewhere.

Now grown-up and
in a book and cat hair house of my own
I’ve got a dishwasher,
clean-ish bathroom.
I’ve fought the good fight
for the rule of law and order
of stuff,
but my victories are few,
and fleeting.
Very fleeting.
My efforts against chaos are
by cats, toddlers, husbands, gravity, time,
energy, money, interest, sleep.
I find myself hiking
or baking
or running in the backyard
or watching the moon
or watching TV
or building impressive lines of matchbox cars
or sitting,
and I will think of the stairs.
Corners of each step populated
with cat fur and sequins
from my son’s dump truck haul.
I should sweep.
I will.
At some point.
For now,
the house is clean-ish.