Sleeping in My Childhood Friends’ Bedroom, in the House Across the Street, as an Adult
Kelsey Ann Kerr
There were bunkbeds in this room
the last time I spent hours in it,
and a secret cavern, full of pillows
and toys and neon covered lights.
There were sky dancers that flitted
along with us spritely children.
There were tea parties and magic
spoons that coated themselves in jam
when dipped in sugar water. I borrowed one
that I never returned, and still keep
at the bottom of my purse beneath all
the adult things, the rustling tampons
that fill the bag instead of Tootsie Roll
wrappers and Ariel stickers, glitter.
I look out the window into the backyard,
which fills with streamers and soft tacos
from Taco Bell, from a birthday party
years ago, and watch myself run around
with a pinwheel in one hand and my walrus
in the other. My mother laughs and scoops
me up, kissing my forehead beneath my tangles
of strawberry blonde hair, brighter
in the summer. As she kneels in the grass
to put me down gently, her body begins
to turn to grey, and soon it’s swept away
and back, to settle in among the cherries
and raspberry bushes and it’s today
and I’ll never see her in motion again.