Poems from missing (2010 Modjaji Books)

If this bed could talk


If this bed could talk
it would say,
Here you lay with him,
in this hollow,
worn there by the lying together
the lying above, below
the side by side of sleep.


It would say, This island in the middle?
Your youngest child
colonized it at midnight for years
wanting only your tired hand,
burrowing for it like a mole
before she finally fell asleep.


At this end,
the bed would say,
your son (once a boy)
flung his sleeping bag on the floor
to bring out the night
near you both after reading
a horror story too late.



This bed would say,
Here, beside me
your mother stood
wearing your apron
saying: please eat
something. I will make anything
if you would just eat.


And here sat your daughter
singing nursery rhymes
while she stroked
your stubbled head.

And here,
the bed would sigh ,
is evidence of how
you have worn me out,
worried me away
to barely nothing
through days and days
of lying here . (Here
it would whisper,
in this hollow,
-while they all slept-
you lay awake

Waiting.)



If this bed could talk