Soft Couches

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t … Mother, father, brothers punching each other, full bed with yellow sheets, soft couches, forks & spoons, carpeting, wallpaper, cracking sidewalks, laundry chute, dogs & cats, backyards & bicycles … I go foraging for something to remind me of home.

I turn on a desk lamp, hide cinder blocks with a quilt, lay a scrap of carpet, put slippers on my feet, join a sisterhood club, join a German club, find boys, make air popcorn every single day. But I grow weary of these discomforts.

Empty: I drink, I binge, I cheat on tests. I fail. I vomit. I give it the old college try. I transfer, eat less popcorn, meet a guy with a full-on beard. We sit on couches, watch TV, go to movies. We date, break-up, write letters, break-up, get married.

And suddenly, and actually. There’s something where before there wasn’t. I begin setting-up house. I bring in soft couches, a TV. It’s dusk. I am home.

[first clause taken from Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem, “Burning the Old Year”
and submitted to dVerse Poets]


18 thoughts on “Soft Couches

  1. Angie!! “And suddenly/And actually…” I feel the moment here. Having been through many of these stages… the endless search, grasping at “answers” that often complicate matters. I SO GET THIS. Thank you for articulating a particular moment, a crossroads I have stood at.

    This was a real eye-opener of a poem. For me. Right where I stand. Thanks. Amy

      1. I gotta hop in here and protest your apology. Your mental slideshow was amazing! Even if our shows are different, we can remember the soft couches and accents in our lives, too.
        You are one of my favorite writers because you can take a comples story – yours – and make it feel like it’s ours, too. That’s a talent I’ve been trying to master since I started writing stories.
        You rock, lady!

  2. It’s dusk. I am home.

    Carthartic. Realistic with soft edges, like the texture of the cushioned furniture. You take us through a life lived frenetically, then bring us home.

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