Bed Poem By Kendra Borgmann
I used to sleep in a bed my father made
from a ponderosa. When it died, leaning the last
of its red crown toward the house, he called a sawyer
who came and with careful wedges
laid it safe across the yard. My sisters and I
first straddled, then balanced on top of it,
while my father stared it up and down in silence.
I was sitting in the living room the day my mother
helped him bring up the pieces from the shed.
She created an air of suspense around it.
I heard his machine tools in my bedroom
and when it was time for me to come look,
I saw a bedspread of brown and green flowers
surrounded by blond wood.
There wasn’t a night I didn’t run my fingers along the grooves.
where the bark had been stripped and the wood sanded.
Also the knot, its smooth swelling and withered center.
I grew the length of the bed.
My father naps in it when I’m not home.
No saggy springs to hurt his back
and in the winter he can hang his hand
over the side where the heat comes out.
The Douglas fir beyond the eaves looks in
when he stops reading and places the book
down, pages split, the frame holding his place.
first published in Grand Street