by Marilyn Westfall
We bought the bed secondhand.
Almost good as new, said the former
owner’s son. Used for three days.
The frame is heavy as whale bone,
the mattress plank firm. It adjusts
but I’m left aching.
My mother who rejects
the mention of assisted living
chose to sleep in her recliner
facing the TV that plays all night
and spills watery light that flickers
under the door I pass at 3 AM
as more midsummer rain
patters on new shingles.
Perhaps the house she cannot care for
now will sell. Leaks no longer
spoil ceilings, drip from fixtures.
Perhaps we both will drift,
forced by circumstance, and I will doze
in a chair beside her, wake to stare
between side rails for her breath’s
rise and fall.
Marilyn Westfall has published poetry in various publications, most recently in Duality, Quartet Poetry Journal, Big Bend Literary Magazine, and Sand Hills Literary Magazine. She lives in West Texas, and travels to help family in The Rust Belt of eastern Ohio.
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