bed calls. i sit in the dark in the living room trying to ignore them in the morning, especially Sunday mornings it will not let me up. you must sleep longer, it says facing south the bed makes me lay heavenward on my back while i prefer a westerly fetal position facing the wall the bed sucks me sideways into it when i sit down on it to put on my shoes. this persistence on its part forces me to dress in the bathroom where things are less subversive the bed lumps up in anger springs popping out to scratch my dusky thighs my little office sits in the alcove adjacent to the bed. it makes strange little sighs which distract me from my work sadistically i pull back the covers put my typewriter on the sheet and turn it on the bed complains that i'm difficult duty its slats are collapsing. it bitches when i blanket it with books and papers. it tells me it's made for blood and bone lately spiders ants and roaches have invaded it searching for food
Copyright © 1993 by Wanda Coleman. Reprinted from Hand Dance with permission of Black Sparrow Press.
when did we become friends?
it happened so gradual i didn't notice
maybe i had to get my run out first
take a big bite of the honky world and choke on it
maybe that's what has to happen with some uppity youngsters
if it happens at all
the thought stark and irrevocable
of being here without you
beyond love, fear, regret or anger
into that realm children go
who want to care for/protect their parents
as if they could
and sometimes the lucky ones do
into the realm of making every moment
laughing as though laughter wards off death
each word given
received like spanish eight
treasure to bury within
against that shadow day
when it will be the only coin i possess
with which to buy peace of mind
From Heavy Daughter Blues by Wanda Coleman. Copyright © 1987 by Wanda Coleman. Reprinted by permission of Black Sparrow Press, an imprint of David R. Godine, Publisher.