restless house

 

The onesy Aunt Trina sent jumped

out of its gift box and hopped over to the crib

to see if baby had come home.

Seeing the bare mattress and

neatly folded linen, onesy

slowly inched like a caterpillar

back to its box, closed the lid and pulled

the tissue tightly around.

 

The crib itself has started to sag

at the ends

so that the gated side rail frowns at us

while the attached mobile turns

at reduced speed,

changing its chirpy lullaby

into a dirge. 

 

Raggedy Andy left his corner of the bay window

to sit with Ann, holding hands,

concerned and uncertain

about why

they had been happily brought from the store

only to sit in an empty nursery.

I separated them a few times

before I understood.

 

I heard the booties pacing back and forth.

Sometimes Iíll stay in the hallway

and quietly match their steps,

taking comfort in the shared rhythm.

Eventually though Iíll open the door

to make them stop, pick them up

and give them a few gentle pats

before putting them back

in the drawer.

 

Honestly we came to enjoy it, to

relish the concern of objects for our baby.

It always seemed that we were the ones

who felt better

after reassuring the ruffled blanky.

But they grow more anxious

as time goes by.

 

The wooden pull train rocks

back and forth in the toy chest, banging

against the inside walls.  Iíve found

dents in the chest and some scratches

on the train.  I put pillows in there

to ease its pain.

 

Worse now the house grows restless.

The closet door in our bedroom will not

stay closed, refusing to cover the door jam

I painted white

to record our childís height.

After walking into it for the third time

we hammered out the pins

and took the door off its hinges, afraid

that this was just the first sign

that we are all

coming apart.

 

In the kitchen floor some bumps are growing

where the linoleum searches

for the spilled milk

that hasnít been spilled.

Our baby better come home soon.