Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MAKING THE BED, by KAREN SWENSON

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MAKING THE BED, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Her regimen's inviolate. They squabble
Last Line: Side smoothing the fold of sheet over blanket.
Subject(s): Marriage; Tourists; Weddings; Husbands; Wives

Her regimen's inviolate. They squabble
because he wants his breakfast first, before
he helps her make the bed, to her a rite
enshrining, as they mutually fold
the sheet across the blanket, their whole union.
She fears he wants escape, although they have
been married sixty years and there's no place
to go but death. She'll show the visitor
her dangling bracelet a charm for each city.
The Eiffel Tower's gold. Hong Kong's the "Good
Luck" character. And this? She rubs the Kremlin's
shine, fretful in this litany of charms.
Names walked off, friends turned into foreigners
beneath trees in the Tuileries. She's awed
that it's insured for thousands while she wanders
in crowds of strangers who once told her where
she was. The captain's tables all are gone,
although a matinee excites her. But
if he wants to escape, all that holds her
from being lost is his hands on the far
side smoothing the fold of sheet over blanket.

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