Lady of Leisure
By Tyler Elizabeth Hurula
The hallway is long and covered in wood
that sometimes splinters and snags
at the too long, tattered-up hem of my jeans.
My bedroom is on the left but nothing
in there is mine. It was originally
a guest room. With a guest bed and guest
sheets and guest hangers for guest clothes,
and an ancient doily on the acetone
stained bedside table. Though I admit,
the acetone is mine. The doily covers
it just enough so when she pokes
her head in while I’m at school she doesn’t
see. I’m not sure what she’s looking
for, except proof I don’t belong. The swish
of her peonied bathrobe echoes
down the hallway, avoiding the splinters.
She carries a clipboard to list each grievance.
Clothes on the floor. Bath towels hung
crooked. An unmade bed. I hear her yelling
each one at my mom when she thinks
I’m not home. She says I’m a lady of leisure
because don’t I have better things to do
than sleep in until noon? My parents
divorced and we gave away
the dogs that still sometimes stampede
through my dreams so we could live
here. I lost the friends I was too shy to make,
And yes, sometimes the ache in my chest
throbs so heavy it anchors me in bed.
Grandmas are supposed to love
their grandchildren, and she does – but
I’ve learned from a distance is best.
About Tyler Elizabeth Hurula:
Hurula (she/her) is a poet based in Denver, Colorado. She is queer and polyamorous, and is cat mum to two fur babies and a plethora of plants. She has been published previously in Anti-Heroin Chic. Her poems feature love, polyamory, family, growing up, and being queer. Her top three values are connection, authenticity, and vulnerability; she tries to encompass these values in her writing as well as everyday life.