Poem: Lavender Carpet

By: Ruth Deming

lavendercarpet

I sat on the living room floor
studying the swatch books
Perhaps we could
carpet my bedroom with both
the pink that was the color of
a cat’s tongue and the lavender
like ballooning pants worn
in the harem of Topkapi.

Crazed with the colors
I came to my senses
and shouted Lavender
into the phone.
Like the wedding night
or a new shade of nail polish
there must be no mistakes
no regrets.

Giddy with happiness
I lie in bed
a jeweled mezuzah on the door
and welcomed
Charlie Rose into my
room. In dark December
I wear navy polka-dot
pajamas that caress my
legs like a husband would
if I still had one. I don’t fantasize
a Jim Rockford or
Damien Lewis beside me
aging, it seems, has driven
such marvelous thoughts away.

I lie in the cradle of reality, pretending
God loves me, though, truly, I feel the knock
of emptiness in my breast.

Look at the walls!
Pink as a movie star’s lips.
Bare now. Let’s keep them that way. The
better to be alone, undistracted, acquainted
with every heart beat, every bit of sadness
that comes from living without children or
cats.

The noises of the house
they comfort me. The song of
the refrigerator
keeping cold the food
– such devotion! – and the soughing
of the furnace that delivers
through tunnels in the walls
heat that keeps my blood from
freezing like Popsicles

or becoming homeless
and sleeping with the deer
in the backyard, rolling myself
in frost-encrusted autumn leaves
and remembering when I used
to play piano, Bach most of all.

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