Saturday, June 24, 2006

"In Praise of My Bed," by Meredith Holmes

At last I can be with you!
The grinding hours
since I left your side!
The labor of being fully human,
working my opposable thumb,
talking, and walking upright.
Now I have unclasped
unzipped, stepped out of.
Husked, soft, a be-er only,
I do nothing, but point
my bare feet into your
clean smoothness
feel your quiet strength
the whole length of my body.
I close my eyes, hear myself
moan, so grateful to be held this way.

(N.B.I: The posting of this poem is dedicated to my bed, for which I am thankful every single night.)

(N.B.II: Most of the poems I post, including this one, come from the Writer's Almanac daily e-mail, which I highly commend for its wit, wisdom, and wonderful contemporary and classic poetry. Among the poets I've met through it are Stephen Dobyns, Barbara Crooker, William Stafford ("Wisdom is having things right in your life / and knowing why."), Tony Hoagland, and Stephen Dunn ("I was burned by books early / and kept sidling up to the flame"). To subscribe to the Writer's Almanac, click here.)


  1. This is fabulous. Erin and I agreed recently that a major requirement for any job was its ability to be performed from a bed... and then we were very glad we could write. :D

  2. Love this!

    I recently left my personal Gertrude Stein misquote on a friend's blog-

    It takes a heap of napping to write a book.


  3. I used to listen to Writer's Almanac on KXCV, Maryville, every morning as I left the shop to do the horticulturing thing. It was my daily dose of poetry, and just about my only shot of intellectual stimulation I'd get all day (unless I was sneaking in some writing time). Go GK!

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  5. I was always told "The sluggard loves his bed," and "You can sleep when you're dead," but I'm with Nowlan. And Homer Simpson. (When Marge tells him to get up in the morning, he says,"Ohhh, I got up yesterday!")

    Thanks for the WA link

  6. I appreciate your making my poem available to your readers, but it is incorrectly attributed.

    The author of "In Praise of My Bed" is Meredith Holmes. The poem was originally published in the book Shubad's Crown, by Meredith Holmes, Pond Road Press, Washington, D.C., 2003.

    It later appeared - correctly attributed - on Garrison Keillor's Writers' Almanac and in Keillor's anthology, Good Poems for Hard Times.

    Please correct this on your site. While all writers want to be read, they also want credit for their original work.

    Meredith Holmes

  7. Dear Ms. Holmes -- my sincere apologies. I took the text of the poem from the Writer's Almanac webpage version of it, and Alden Nowlan's "The Last Waltz" was just below it there; I appear to have confused the poet and poem, and appreciate your pointing out the error. It has now been corrected. Thank you again.