Instruction from a Double Bed (from Denise)


who gently pushed on my closed eyelids
to change the channel on my dreams
when I awoke whimpering in the night
snuggling my tiny body closer to the shell of yours
in the nest of our quilt-heaped bed
wrapping my small fist
in the silk slip of your hair

who stoically survived the torrent
of the contents of my stomach
when I lay feverish with the flu
and couldn’t climb over you quickly enough
to escape from my corner of the double bed
pushed up tight against the wall and radiator

who told me stories in the red glow
from the holiday wreaths draped on our bedroom windows
of spiders spinning webs on fir trees
that turned to silver tinsel at the brush of Jesus’ hand
stars that rushed from the sky
to dance in the branches

who would sing me to sleep
holding me in your thin, steady arms
promising to keep me safe from the monsters
in the closet, under the bed
and down the stairs
that howled and screamed and slammed the doors

who placed your newborn twins in the crooks of my arms
watched me curl my body around theirs
pour love in their ears
salt their faces with kisses
and swear to love them with the same unwavering fidelity
with which you have always loved me

©Julie Ayers
August 2011

Auntie Juju, Ryan, & Nathan - 1980

Denise & Nate and Ry & Julie


About Julie Ayers

Seasoned apocaloptimist, keen admirer of well-placed words, fierce mama bear of extra special children, black belt hugger, and advocate for a fashion rebellion which elevates the most human of hearts to socially acceptable outerwear.

5 responses »

  1. Julie is one of the most amazing woman I’ve ever known. Could it be possible that some of her amazingness is a result of all the love and nurturing she had received from her big sister way back when we shared the double bed? Ahhhhh…..something to think about : ) Julie is Julie because she’s always allowed herself the freedom to be Julie. Thank you for having the courage to take that risk. I pray that you never stop loving and sharing your passion for words. We are all blessed by your gift.
    I love you little seester,
    Neecer xoxoxoxoxo

  2. One of the most…? Uh-hum. I bet it’s ’cause I don’t sort my whites from my brights when I do laundry that I’m not at the very top of the list. 😉 Love you, and thank you, Neece Robin Obin Obin. No one has ever taught me more about unconditional love, patience, kindness, and good humor in the face of flat out tragedy and unimaginable pain and loss, than you. You are the remarkable one.

  3. Yeah — a fight! I love it. No, you are. I’ll refrain from using our favorite word for each other that used to bug Doug. Showing some restraint for a change. Get off your damn computer and go hang out with your actual sister, why don’t ya? I promise not to barf in your hair. At least not tonight.

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