Barely a foot tall, 
the space between floor and bedframe — 
a safe harbor. 
A boxspring roof, 
shedding hairy strings, like cobwebs
in a still place. 
The ruffle of a bedskirt —
inside-out navy blue with white dots,
for privacy. 
White legs, 
etched in gold trim,
sturdy and reliable. 
I would wake up
with short red wool from regular square tiles
pressed to my face. 
Like soldiers,
obedient and orderly, those floor tiles marched
to my doorway
Always open —
“No closed doors in this house, young lady.” —
a lonely condition. 
Beyond the threshhold, 
lumpy mesas of blue loopy-cut carpet —
a road
To the Living Room, 
to an antique carved upright piano
I liked to play —
But not when forced
in ruffled dresses, for perfumy aunts 
and cigared uncles —
A left turn led
to dark brown linoleum and colonial dining chairs
around a table
To the place where
mom’s voice would be heard — screeching to
a silent dad: 
“Look what your
daughter did,” she held up the evidence, 
damning.
A family snapshot
with mom’s face surgically removed,
by a hole punch. 
Copyright © 2015 Kelly Jo Anderson.

First published in The Huron River Review, Issue 14, 2015, p. 22-23. 
(digital edition and limited edition paperback)