Halfway through the evening

he makes his way upstairs to the bathroom…

…by landing-light he silently eases the bedroom door;

                               takes care on floorboards…

…peers into the room at the well-made bed:

white sheets, white pillows,

two side by side…she has expected him.

A pale, patterned quilt…her own craft.

Here is an altar of anticipation,

of misgiving, of agnostic surrender,

of atheistic, noisy, pulsing delight…

…magnetic drawing in and repelling:

even if he does not need to go up the stairs

he will use this as an excuse every time…

imprint of this bed in the light from the landing

is part of growing up.