Averil Bones lives in Australia and works as an
environmental adviser and lobbyist. Her poetry, fiction and journalism have
appeared in a wide range of magazines, ezines, journals and anthologies, and she
counts nature and love as her two great sources of poetic inspiration.
I didn't think I'd sleep much
teetering, as I was, on a
canyon's cosy shrapnel edge.
First time in your bed, I was scared.
A single touch would have sunk me,
sent me tumbling down
precipitous battering slopes.
I hated to think that by morning
you might have seen me rolled,
bruised and dusty, and there'd go
my heart again, swallowed by the earth.
I woke (still balanced on an edge),
at least as much as a day-dreamer
sleepless through the dark can do,
and the warm sun fell like lovely honey
through the open door
as you rode out into the day.
I threw down the covers of the bed.
The crevice was quite plain in the morning light.
Threading my bone needle with
strings of limpid courage,
I pulled the ragged edges of the blue sky
sheets together, dizzy with the depth
of the fall below me.
My first stitch snapped.
My thread was not enough.
I gathered the faces of those
who had fallen from your walls,
melted them with water in a pot,
and spun a hot toffee mix that
hardened the string.
The smell was butter burning
after knot and stitch, but it seemed
it might just do the trick.
Knot and stitch, knot and stitch, and
the tussle of a tangle to hold me back.
I am from a fishing family,
wholly patient, sometimes to a fault.
Knot and stitch, stitch and knot,
sealing up the last gusty gap.
The mattress bulged and bucked
so I tested it first with your cat.
It held, but the cat ran away.
The honey sun dried my hair quickly,
and I ate naked in the empty flat.
The bed was still, calm, whole.
I tested its pillows, got trapped in the
sticky mess of morning sleep, woke
to buck and moan on the canyon
stitched into fabric. Yes, it was enough.