I haven’t stretched in a while …

This week’s Monday poetry stretch, from Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect, is to write a poem of confession. I had fun thinking of possible confessions, and I finally settled on something simple and recent.

While you were at your father’s in July

Week four of your absence, night twenty-six,
Counting creaks, snores, days ‘til your return,
I lead myself to your undisturbed bed, glass lake
Of your glowing room

I fold back your summer quilt, slip in,
These sheets are fine, on your ceiling
Lines and lines of pale streetlight stretch
Like a canopy, I close my eyes

Your pillow does its job and a large pink dog
Flies me to the slanted house of your friend
Stella (I’ve always thought she was imaginary),
Who asks how long you’re gone

When I awake some time later I am ten,
But then your cat appears,
Trills at my presence, slinks near,
Wet-noses my cheek, settles, purrs

I sing his name, stroke his long back the way
I’ve seen you do, shoulders to tail,
Shoulders to tail, and for a moment,
We both pretend
I am you

Stephanie Parsley