The Resting Place

I lived in bed for a year,
With short respite breaks for it and I,
Where I took the opportunity to stretch contracted limbs,
And for it to rest its fixings, for the mattress to relax and sigh.
 
Not a bad bed, this framework with mattress atop,
With polished chrome finish, reflecting light and shadow in elongated argenteous slivers,     
A quiet bed, when the mind permits the body to still,
But on restless nights, shrieking complaint as the springs squealed in recoil, and the fixings cried 
out to be tightened.

A slatted base, where crumbs and fur from my tom cat became entrapped, 
Between the laths, fitted perpendicularly to the side rails,
With a mattress that remembers with its foam-like ways,
That it does not need to be turned or flipped,
A low-maintenance kind of pallet.

And the award for best-supporting role must be bestowed upon the sturdy oak bedside table,
For its solid, unwavering thereness,
With uniform surface, a reliable platform for pills and potions and liquid refreshment,
Absorbing spilled drinks without complaint or dissent.

I lived in bed for a year, 
A queer year,
With curtains drawn tight to keep out the light,
The fug of accumulated breath released by cracking the window,
Enabling birdsong and fresh air to enter on the breeze's blow,
Mountains of books stacked beneath to occupy the mind, 
While the body was too unwell, other pleasures to find.

And now I am grateful for my prison to be freed from,
Not discounting the service I received from this bed,
No gilded berth, as enjoyed by indulgent pharaohs,
Far removed from Odysseus' primitive charpoy,
Just my own ordinary resting place,
Honouring its primary functions of comfort and support,
Through that difficult time that I was denied peace.

And an advancement on Odysseus' charpoy

Despite that on some nights, thoughts plagued me with dread,
Its comfort and softness I can remember with ease, 
Through that difficult time that I was denied peace



Geri Owens lives in Hull, East Yorkshire. She has never submitted a poem to a magazine before and only started writing poetry in earnest in the Spring of 2017, during a career break. The Resting Place describes a year where a long-standing health condition dominated her life for over a year, leaving her very debilitated.