Label everything.
Your scent will not do.
Your good grades will not do.
Use only indelible ink.

Label it with your name
and a time stamp
saying when you will be back
and expect it to be there waiting.

This goes for shoes, of course,
as well as books, desks,
kitchen supplies, shampoo,
underwear, beds, couches,
notepaper, words,
sentences, metaphors.

Label the time it takes
to use the shower,
toast a bagel, pour coffee.
Even the time it takes
to wake up, hit your snooze
three times, be late to class,
sneak a beer, think,
gather your notes,
remember, hope.

Note that umbrellas
are always in the public domain
no matter how you label them.
And socks.

All unlabeled items
are also in the public domain
and may be ‘borrowed’
without warning and likely
when you need them most.

Prepare to see them across campus
today or in six years
in the hands of a friend,
in the mouth of a foe,
even in the swagger of a stranger.

And when you protest,
everyone will just pout,
‘We told you to label everything.’
Poor you.

Feeling the house is a dorm this morning with every couch taken and the kitchen left a mess(ish – all things considered). Very glad I can ‘borrow’ my younger son’s desk while he is away. His room has that certain eau d’dorm, but the window is open and there’s a breeze.

Anticipating a bit for Jennifer Knoblock.