I was going to post an old story, but then this jumped out at me from my idea box. It’s another venture into poetry, which happens from time to time, generally when I least expect it and never when I try to force it. It’s inspired by a blurb I read somewhere about a place where at least the first verse rings true. As for the rest, who knows?
LEAVE YOUR VALUES AT THE FRONT DESK
At our little Parisienne hotel, we have a simple sign.
“Leave your values at the front desk,” it declares.
With its quaint lack of pretension
And its implied promise of security
It makes our guests feel at ease.
The astute ones even chuckle,
Thinking our English is less than perfect.
They smile and say nothing, and so do we.
Never occurring to anyone
Is the realization
That we are deadly serious.
The moment your shoes, be they well-worn or très chic,
Cross the threshold into your room,
We take them into possession.
It’s in the fine print
When you sign the receipt.
Don’t blame us.
We warned you.
We are quite skilled at keeping them well-protected,
The morals, the promises, the religions and idols.
They are locked in a vault
And only we have the key.
Many of them stay there forever.
Sometimes we wonder what causes a guest
To leave them behind once their stay is done.
Other times we smile as they scurry out
Holding them tighter than ever before.
It seems to us —
And we refer to our years of experience —
That the best way to appreciate your values
Is to lose them.
And when you want to find them again,
If you want to find them again,
We will have them waiting here,
Safe and sound at the front desk.
© 2009 Elizabeth Ditty