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bath time

Melissa Pettitt

I dread the evenings––

for the first sound of water

thudding against the empty tub,

for the quiet barefoot tiptoe on the tiles,

for the gentle splash

and long silence which follows

when she submerges herself, warm water

slowly eating up her body.


I think it’s funny how we

are exactly the same size.

When you hop into bed

we lie nose to nose

and toe to toe.

There was a time when I

could easily encompass all of you

in all of me. Just last night

you laughed and said,

‘I’m a little bag of bones which

could slip, quite peacefully,

into the sea.’ I kissed your

closed eyes, breathed in

the sweetness of your shampoo,

and still you were shaking

like a little leaf.


She wakes me up

when the howling starts.

I hear her run to the bathroom

but she knows I took the lock

from the door long ago.

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