I remember when it arrived. Trucked down from Tallahassee. My Great-Grandmother's bed. My Mom tucked it into the "poker room" and started stripping the blackened mahogany stain, grape jelly, off it's grain. I was enchanted with the wood grain that emerged. Patterns, telling stories, in the old plank. The headboard and the footboard are each one slice of mahogany, not pieced together, one slice of greatness. The Mother Tree. And it was mine.
Handed down from one eldest daughter to the next, to the next, to the next, to me.......I touched it and remembered my Nana under the cotton sheets telling me stories....."When Monk and I eloped...." I felt the magic then, of her barefeet peeling out from under the crisp sun-ironed covers, the heavy blanket tossed back breathlessly, and her panic, at the sound the sunday~suit~quilt thudding on the hand tied mattress might of made. He was at the window. Two floors up. Waving the diamond ring he had just won in a poker game. She left in her flannels.
My Mother. At Jacksonville beach. On the second floor with the lights out and the four mahogony legs centered in gallon cans of water. So the rats couldn't crawl up. Sleeping on the salt flavoured sheets with the ocean spraying kisses through the windows. The third generation of blonde haired girls to sleep here.
And now it was mine. I slept on it, in it, for years. Lounged backwards with the phone cord twined between my fingers painting my toenails up against the headboard. Stuck wads of gum on the siderails. Dreamed here.
When I inherited my blonde haired 7 year old daughter, we bought a waterbed with satin sheets, and moved it into her first bedroom. Draped the windows and it's soul in white eyelit and puffalumps and she grew up here. When she moved out and said " I want a queen sized bed" I understood. It was the same year, her Father and I divorced and we traded.
I sleep here again. One day, this ageless hammock will go to Kyle, my precious blonde haired grandaughter. Until then, she's mine again.
I prop my cast~footed leg up on two pillows piled at the footboard. Georgia takes the right side. She huffs and puffs and chases her tail in circles until she's just~so comfy and then settles in. Deja tiptoes on the pillows. Around my head. Kneading in my hair. The moon peeks in under the window shades. Casts shadows on my chest. Rising. Falling.
Ahhh, the stories this wooden princess could tell......