Deep under the covers
in the warmth, in the comfort
of security and softness
I peek outside and think
“I’m sure some would choose that
but I am here and here is where I
want to stay.”
Perhaps I’ll change my sheets,
maybe I’ll turn up or down the thermostat.
Somenights I’ll sleep nude, other nights
I slip into a flannel nightgown, and socks remain.
--I know I would be okay out there—
but is seems flat, insipid
compared to this soft, beautiful, lumpy
bed of mine, my love, my enjoyment and enrichment.
You know, recently my bed has ripped the covers away
as though to give them to
a sleeper I can’t see on another pillow.
It has its own mind and hangs
the sheets in the wind to air out
when I still want to snuggle in the morning.
The wind is not exciting to me, though it is part of me.
Yeah, that wind bends my arms, whips through my skull
in zephyrs and hurricanes.
I think my bed knows that
and is pushing me to leave its embrace.
Push, push, push
still it allows me to rest there.
One day, though, as I lay down for my
most restful hibernating slumber, I am confronted
with Bed Bugs!
Excuse me, I say………
HEY, I yell to my bed, THIS IS FUCKED UP! You are
not some crappy mosquito netted fifty year old hay
mattress in Africa! You are my bed,
here, at home!
You are supposed to allow me
to lie, to rest, to recuperate!
I change your sheets, I flip the mattress,
I put pretty brocade pillows on you!
And for this you bring me bed bugs?
Those intolerable crawling
And I am gone.
I am forced to leave by no wish of my own,
Out of my bed and into that wind that is part of me.
Oh, it is winter.
Oh, I have missed my hibernation, and am ipso facto
even less prepared to face the cold.
The wind shoots through me and I cry
bitterly, afraid I shall never have a good bed again.
I can repeat the exact temperatures and velocities
of the cold wind of this winter
the short chills, the deep freezes and tiny thaws, but
suffice to say that
I have been faced with every kind of winterness and many
more than a few times.
I look in windows at others,
hibernating comfortably in their beds:
some snore, some toss and turn,
others sit up reading in bed with a booklight
while still others rest quietly, well.
Meanwhile, I wrestle with the wind.
it tousles my hair and teases me.
How especially trying to have
something that is part of you
tease you so mercilessly, tease you into crying
and accomplishing less than nothing.
It hurts. And yet I think it is beautiful.
The way it dances with stirring snow crystals or
left over oak leaves.
That’s what I try to harness in myself,
those moments of unexpected fascination and loveliness.
To hell with that bed of mine!
Rather, that bed is no longer mine and
To hell with thinking of it so.
Ring in the wind; endless hours
of entertainment and challenge.
The bed was gentle and good, but
Out here, I find, is anything but flat or insipid.
Maybe one day I’ll have a tempur-pedic:
a perfect, supporting, healthy-back bed.
Or maybe I’ll call an African hay mattress my bed.
the wind will always be there, winter or not,
outside of the bed and inside myself--
I am learning, am reminded that I
have nothing to worry about.
Jan 22, 2005