Leaving the Motel
by W. D. Snodgrass
Outside, the last kids holler
Near the pool: they’ll stay the night.
Pick up the towels; fold your collar
Out of sight.
Check: is the second bed
Unrumpled, as agreed?
Landlords have to think ahead
In case of need,
Too. Keep things straight: don’t take
The matches, the wrong keyrings—
We’ve nowhere we could keep a keepsake—
Ashtrays, combs, things
That sooner or later others
Would accidentally find.
Check: take nothing of one another’s
And leave behind
Your license number only,
Which they won’t care to trace;
We’ve paid. Still, should such things get lonely,
Leave in their vase
An aspirin to preserve
Our lilacs, the wayside flowers
We’ve gathered and must leave to serve
A few more hours;
That’s all. We can’t tell when
We’ll come back, can’t press claims;
We would no doubt have other rooms then,
Or other names.