Overstaying One’s Welcome

Richard Pflum


I’ve always wondered when I was going to get

the boot. Have always been a little uncomfortable

here, but liked it nevertheless. Hung around, made

a pest of myself. Ate the food, accepted the gifts

like I was some kind of prized guest. But now

the host is getting a little antsy. He hints there’re

other places I might like to visit and how long

have I been here, anyway? All my friends have

left a long time ago. I miss them, yes, but there

is no way now they can ever be retrieved.


As with all things: the familiar, the sentimental,

must finally be shuffled-off lest we become too set

in our ways. After all we were not invited here

to be comfortable. There was some good purpose

I suppose, but I’m not sure what it was. Meanwhile

a black limousine awaits perpetually at the door

and a flight has been booked at the airport. I hate

to think of the mess we all have to go through

at the terminal before the plane takes off. 

Richard Pflum has published two collections (A Dream of Salt and A Strange Juxtaposition of Parts) and has recorded a CD (Strange Requests).  His poems have appeared in Conceit Magazine, Sparrow, Event, Kayak, The Reaper, The Exquisite Corpse, Tears In The Fence, Arts Indiana Literary Supplement, Indiannual, The Flying Island, The Hopewell Review, Ploplop, The Indiana Experience and Bear Crossings.  His most recent chapbooks are The Haunted Refrigerator and Other Poems (Pudding House Publications, 2007) and Listening With Others (The Muse Rules Press, 2007).