Nights you call out, I pad
the hallway to your duvet flung wide,
your leg dangling down, tender and crooked,
still warm, your small palm cooling on the wall.
Your soft toys shift and slide as I cover you.
My mind slides towards small absent ones
I cared for in passing. Long ago, I dusted the room
of a girl who, too, turned from the wall in sleep.
Edging between the wall and the soft anchorage
of your bed, I turn the bedspread back; lay hands
along its length and see how awkwardly
it rucks, how hard it is to settle it enough.
The North 56, July 2016