There’s a ritual to making a bed.
The headboard tall aginst the wall,
A pattern of walking around: from left side to foot to right side to foot to left side and back.
Smoothing out the sheets,
Tugging up the blankets,
Placing the chenille bedspread just so, the pillows can be hid.
It’s as if the whole exercise were to confound the viewer to think nobody’d slept there;
That this was never a place of vulnerability, of fragile dreams, of terrible fears,
Nobody’d lay awake, turning and pulling
Against the too tight tucked in linens.
Walking around, side following side,
Left, foot, right, foot, left, foot, right,
Footfalls in place,
Creating a dry moat in pattern around a preserved and austere,
But empty castle keep.
Come in to find shelter,
Come in to take rest,
You are the first,
No one of your kind before.
And at daybreak, leave no trace you’d ever been here.
Make the bed.