Suzanne Frischkorn

Hair tangles signal three weeks of work,
each knot grows with each day in bed.
Once a woman,
a wife, a mother---
now a captive of the house.
Tied and bound by sleep.

Taking a shower makes her sleepy.
Pulling bristles through her hair, too much work.
As dirty dishes seize the house,
she scouts sheets and pillows on the bed
for misplaced anger at her mother.
Tired of being a woman,

she wonders if the title wears out all women,
if females need more sleep.
She decides to take a nap, then be a mother.
'Those synapses take a lot of work,'
she sighs and returns to bed.
Light retreats from the house.

She wants to be alone in the house,
resents that she's a woman
who's expected to get out of bed.
It doesn't matter that death and sleep
share the same job, do the same work.
Guilt hovers over this mother,

who refuses to speak to her own mother.
She feels safe in the house
it's the only talisman that works.
Makes her forget she used to be a woman
who never needed sleep,
and never stayed in bed.

"Hush. Sleep," croons the bed.
Her eyelids darken the role of mother.
Even a prince could not disturb this sleep.
Once rested she'll leave the house,
slip into the role of woman,
fix it so it works.

Soon the bed will not work,
and the woman becomes her mother,
even now, while she sleeps in the house.