Archive for the ‘“Rooms”’ Category


By Barbara Sweeney

We have the only room with a bath.
There is a wooden toilet seat
and white legs on the tub
wash bowl  mahogany dresser
four poster bed.
I take pictures of you asleep
I take pictures of the view
I read in the tub
I hear the voices of those who
slept here before us
(you said we were the best)
I worry about people peeking in
through the glass at the top of the door
(how can you sleep at a time like this?)
I think about hallways,
sleeping outdoors, pianos,
your father.
I think of you as a small boy
breaking your toys.

I pummel the sheets looking
for messages to god.
I print out one of my own on your face.
You waken, your eyes say, “Fair” and “Cloudy”.
Then we bow to each other noiselessly
because hope is such a quiet thing.

The histories of worlds
ripen in rooms
with the taking off of watches
and the untying of shoes.
And, always, there is a woman who
stares out a window
past a shoulder, up to a ceiling
and becomes a breakfast
and becomes a hat
and loses her place
and taps out a message
with her hair.

Appeared in Yankee Magazine;
March, 1976