Barbara Conrad: “This Bed”


This Bed

I’m counting the years I’ve slept
in this Charleston four-poster rice bed,
and yes, the men who’ve slept here with me.

More than five, fewer than a dozen,
only two still rooted in regret.
Even when nights are long and cold,

I let them simply float above me,
serene in the ether.
Tonight the room is stuffy enough

to wake me. I push back the comforter,
slip off my Smart-wool socks
to cool my feet. I roll from side to side,

soothing my mind with deep breathing
and a rhyming game.
The air chills. I pull up the covers,

consider how cozy those socks would feel
if I hadn’t tossed them
across the floor, too far for me to reach.