Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt asked poets to describe a bedroom from their past. It served as a good prompt to combine with the Poetic Asides call for a “look back or don’t look back” poem. The first place my mind looked back to was the room I slept in when I visited my grandparents as a child.
Four of us
crammed in the small bedroom at the Cook Street house,
afterthought lined with wood paneling.
Adjunct to the crowded porch where Grandpa kept his freezer full of meat
and Grandma kept her boxes of unused Avon products,
bought to appease her persistent neighbour.
My brother, notorious snorer, got the living room couch,
but Grandpa and Grandma thought they were treating my sister and me
to the thin mattress on the floor, giving Mom and Dad the luxury
of the spare double bed in the very same room. A small window
that opened halfway, only deliverance from the stale space.
I couldn’t stay on my side of the mattress, so my sister kicked. We both yelled.
Mom scolding us to be quiet, while Dad slept on. Oblivious.
They lived too far away to make quick trips,
so we’d spend a week of nights in that tiny space, darker than my dark
at home, I was even a little grateful for my sister’s closeness.
In the morning, awoken by chickadees in the caragana shrub,
the scent of Grandpa frying last night’s ham, I liked being the first
one to open my eyes. To sneak off the mattress, navigate the
tiny path, strewn with off-cast blankets, my Dad’s slippers,
to make it to the door. Opened it slow as syrup, to quiet the creak.