Curbside Memoir

This morning, in front of Number 47,
a mattress leans against the pine boughs,
waiting with all the enthusiasm
of a sullen teen for the school bus.
But this is trash day and the only lessons
learned here might just be history,
with a dash of psychology.
Its edges and corners are frayed,
there’s a tear in the bottom
and it dips and droops after
last night’s rain like a soggy taco.

How many mattresses do you have
in a life? Three? Four? Like dogs,
hunkering against you for a decade
until they just can’t go on anymore?

Is that why the owners decided
to put it down, putting aside
remembrances of toss and turn,
of his angry back to her hurt feelings,
of making love and making babies,
of stormy nights when the whole family
would huddle on the lee side, Dad’s side,
of this Sealy pillowtop queen-size island?
I doubt any new mattress could record
such times as the memoirs coiled
within this one’s stained pages,
new fangled memory foam or not.

Leaves at Your Door

Has the breeze blown my leaves
dancing past your windows again,
messing with your preferred
view of the world?
With the whirl of wind
in the corner of your entryway,
did some of my dry pages collect,
lying one upon the other and
your eyes resting upon them?

That’s me, persistently obnoxious,
dry, musty, combustible,
here and there a bloody vermillion,
verging on decay and perhaps
worth the pressing between your pages.
Go ahead, you can sweep me away again.
But as long as these winds sing and I stand,
these paper-thin thoughts will rap
and rattle your locked doors.