What the Couch Would Say
By Dominique M. Snedeker
January 15, 2023
January 15, 2023
I wonder what the couch would say
if invited for coffee or maybe a coke.
What could it tell about the weight and health
of those resting wearily in its embrace?
Would it gossip about flatulence, or would
creases of concern appear as it discussed a
rapid gain or loss and what that could mean?
Is it cancer?
And all the missing rears that
no longer sit, anywhere, at all—
but it takes the wine to get into that conversation and
only after a glass and a half does it
The child sitting gingerly—welts—the couch explains
as a spring pops in agitation. It tried to swallow him up.
I did my best to keep him here, fixated on the game instead of her.
The wooden feet creak as it shifts. Now the memories flood,
the wine forgotten. The old man wept every night, alone with only me—
The baby fell; I tried to catch it—the broken footrest appears for proof.
Was it only bad? I ask dismayed, and take a sip myself.
No, the cushions sigh. Love too. The newlyweds…
The embarrassed reverie ends as the knitted throw
demurely covers the threadbare backrest. The children used to
play in my pillows, build forts, sing on my stage,
sit in my lap and read—the mother used to pat me gently,
as she ran off after the hiccupping baby
and the burned biscuits. Lord, could she burn the biscuits.
At which point the couch moans as memory after memory
collide, winding the springs tighter and tighter, and
just as I take the wine glass, the
returns to itself—
lumpy with age.
But I refuse to put it out. No amount of cajoling will get me to agree.
Nothing that wise—
nothing that kind
such a fate.
Dominique M. Snedeker, an Air Force Academy graduate with an English Literature degree, is a veteran and military spouse, currently residing with her husband and three boys in Minot, North Dakota. Dominique’s debut poetry book, Motherhood: The Crucible of Love explores the existential crisis of parents adjusting to selflessness and sleeplessness. Her second book, cold. Untamed Beauty, lovingly examines how the looming negative degree weather shapes interactions between self and place. Stay tuned for Motherhood: Empire of Lost Toys and Mismatched Socks. Find her at www.dmsnedeker.com or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @dmsnedeker.