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THEM WERE THE NIGHTS
- Kath Beattie
I've slept on ships' bunks, on back country boards,
on stretchers and air-beds with the travelling hordes,
on carpets at Dover, coat under my head
while trains were on strike, the ferry quite dead.
I've curled up in planes, on the front seat of cars
though so far (touch wood) not yet behind bars.
I've stretched on spare sofas (feet over the end)
had a hospital bed next to a very sick friend!
My kips include couches, divans (a horse-hair)
I've tried water beds (sick-making) and a La-Z-y Boy chair.
I've had pallets in meeting-houses on the marae
plus a plastic-sleeved cover (in case of dropped kai?).
I've trialled inner-sprung, kapok (as lumpy as cheese)
used blankets and pillows that were harbouring fleas,
shared ground mats and hay-bales, some soft tea-tree too,
woken damp (when the tent broke) with a layer of dew.
I've tried honey-comb rubber (it sweats and is cold)
sagged butt on the floor on a wire-wove that's old,
reclined on a box-bed with underneath drawer
snored deep in a feather bag on somebody's floor.
Slept fast in a tent at James Bay in the snow
perfumed by fir twigs, the bright stars all aglow.
But now that my futon's a roomy queen size
with woolrest and duvet for beddy bye-byes,
fulfillment should shine _ all dusted and done
yet somehow a niggle creeps, blotting the sun,
and I pine for those days when hitting the sack
was just to arrive with a bulging back-pack.
• Kath Beattie is a Dunedin writer. She prefers writing short stories, but fun rhyme is her specialty for family 'dos'.