His Side Of The Bed - Poem by Tara Teeling
How strange it is to wake in a foreign land,
To try to spy the sameness here, as it was there.
Suddenly, nothing feels close, nothing in my acquaintance.
I look around and see things that should be familiar to me.
On that side of the bed, is a pillow of cream and eyelet.
Propped up long ago, it sits, without interference,
Plumped and perfect, wrinkle free under the lofty covers.
Recall him lying there, whilst I lay on my side.
Remember now the gentle breathing as the sun woke,
I think of how the rhythm would change during the night.
I used to sleep beside him as the moon would rise,
Clutching the blankets close, smiling safe under the down.
At times I dare to stretch my legs across the equator,
I toe the sheets and let the diaphaneity fondle and graze.
At times it hurts, despite the cool of cotton,
Satiny barbs bordering this no man’s land.
Deployed on nomad’s campaign many nights ago,
We ceased to share the place we once held dear.
Those long night talks and lovely, lazy cradling.
A memory now, for he wanders lost in reluctant exile.
I know this land will one day be my home again,
Lay down my head, and in only skin, roll blissfully about.
Both sides, be one, and be in my possession.
The battle ground becomes, with time’s sweet hand, a playing field.
Remember how he tried to loosen the sheets,
The edges that I’d fold so perfectly crisp.
He’d kick them out and say they were too confining.
I’d turn my back and curse him silent for destroying my careful corners.
I know I sleep alone because I asked to.
Certain he lies awake sometimes, looking up at floating flashbacks.
If only he’d crossed the line, dissolved spiteful borders,
We’d both have been afforded graceful sleep.
For now I look forlorn at the perfect pillow,
I hate its form, its teasing, mocking plumpness.
So many nights have passed since he slept beside me.
I trace the shape of him as if he’s there.
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