Curbside Memoir

I love this poem. I’ve actually felt this way about mattresses, especially my parents’ mattress. A lot of life happened there and even, in the end, the death of Mother.

A Thing for Words

This morning, in front of Number 47,
a mattress leans against the pine boughs,
waiting with all the enthusiasm
of a sullen teen for the school bus.
But this is trash day and the only lessons
learned here might just be history,
with a dash of psychology.
Its edges and corners are frayed,
there’s a tear in the bottom
and it dips and droops after
last night’s rain like a soggy taco.

How many mattresses do you have
in a life? Three? Four? Like dogs,
hunkering against you for a decade
until they just can’t go on anymore?

Is that why the owners decided
to put it down, putting aside
remembrances of toss and turn,
of his angry back to her hurt feelings,
of making love and making babies,
of stormy nights when the whole family
would huddle on the lee side, Dad’s side,
of this Sealy pillowtop queen-size island?

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