Bedridden

Fredrica Wyman
Featured image: green dream © A. Anupama 2019

 

Before she swims into a dream the legs
are folded at the knee, the ankles crossed,
one hand on flank the other set to reach:
a side-stroke posed to spring, stays coiled
in the 4 AM position change/unchanged.
Left of her bed is the hillside view, she
faces out to the bright-lit hill, her eyes
search for a robin, a cat, the movement
of rain: come-on sounds of a rubbing branch a
sound like treads on a creaky riser.

The house sleeps on as she comes down a flight
and then one more, all is dark and cold
this time to write her notes and drink her tea
tell Grace about the kids and John’s new show
“we’ll tread the boards again” and then, of course,
the cat’s cute game of cackle at the birds and
and the letters go on as the sun streams in
and the hand seems not to be writing and
she hears him coming down the stairs, suspends,
her breath, she wakes, but no, it’s just the aide.

She surfaces to routine, this time re-turned,
the bed-back raised, the letter left unsigned.
At 8, the washing up and start of a day.
Floodlights are off and the window’s open
to the whoosh of rush hour traffic diving
down Cedar Hill to Carnegie past Case
and the Church of the Holy Oil Can, on
past the Playhouse, the Clinic and the Old
Arcade, north to the Lake, and then Euclid
Beach. Stretched on her back, she’ll float