The first bed—a twin— looked out into the quiet snow. At its foot was a TV
with a VCR, and we cried together over a movie with a long-forgotten title.
The second bed was a king, and a fireplace that we could never get to work
stared at our feet. The room always smelled of smoke. This one slept three
the night he fell down the stairs and scarred his two-year-old chin.
When he was big enough to stand on a chair he hosted morning freezy-pop parties for us
in the double bed after our long drinking nights. This was a small apartment that echoed
of too much reality.
The hotel beds in between the Atlantic Ocean and the Sonoran Desert smelled of careless
joy and the delight of being alive together. We carried our sleeping boy up to these rooms,
these temporary single beds; and the dog, who somehow knew to be quiet, tiptoed behind.
We borrowed the soft, over-pillowed full bed of
our parents while we searched for
in the desert.
Two twins pushed together against the wall made room for a desk and its first
floppy-drive computer. This bed witnessed fury and change, passion and compromise.
The first house we owned had a big, king bed for after-fights sex and morning love.
We moved it from Arizona to a post 9-11 New York.
This bed—technically our last bed,
was filled with celebration and delight and sighs and eventually
the silence of death.
The hospital beds don’t count.
I put this bed on the curb with a sign that read, “Free.”
My first alone-bed broke within a week. Shoddy, careless construction matched
my apathetic existence. I don’t even remember its size.
-Lisa St. John
Lisa St. John is an English Teacher and published poet. She lives in upstate New York. Lisa has published her poetry in several journals such as The Poet’s Billow, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, Eyedrum Periodically, Light, and Chronogram Magazine. The poem “Mowing the Lawn” was shortlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize and later published in their anthology. Her poem “The Whens of Now” was a finalist for the New Millennium Writings 44th Literary Awards. Lisa also writes two blogs, Random Mind Movements and Widows’ Words. They can be found on her website at lisachristinastjohn.com where you can also buy her first chapbook of poetry, Ponderings.