Susanna Clayson: Ode To Bed

What does my bed feel like? It’s difficult to say.
It depends on lots of things that differ every day.
Sometimes cool, inviting, with freshly laundered sheets,
smelling of the seaside and old fashioned boiled sweets.

Sometimes if I wake at night and leave it for a while,
it greets me with a soft, warm hug and a welcome smile.
My bed has seen the true me, I have no secrets there,
emotions, fears and fantasies that no one else can share.

If it were a taste or smell, it would have a spicy flavour,
not perfume, but a baser smell that’s comforting to savour:
sleeping children’s tousled heads and scrubbed, soapy skin;
salty sweat and pub-breath, revealing where you’ve been.

Bed can be a lonely place, especially if it’s shared
with someone who can’t see you when once they would have stared.
Then it’s uninviting, a place merely to sleep,
it turns into a fortress with a moat and keep.

If beds could speak, what tales they’d tell of life laid bare:
conception, birth and childhood; illness and despair;
love, success and happiness; failure and defeats,
and then the final moments there, laid between the sheets.