We bought ourselves a brand new carpet,
my husband and I.
Blue as the ocean, with vivid brown pin dots,
it was proud and clean and perfect,
soft and fluffy as a pillow.
We walked on billowy clouds,
waiting for our family to grow.
Our pink bundle blew in like a hurricane,
her colicky wails echoing
throughout the house like a ghost in the night.
As she grew, our devoted carpet
faithfully cushioned the falls
of those first wobbly baby steps, bravely
enduring spit up and apple juice, spills and stains.
Our blue bundle roared in like a lion, and
our hapless carpet was forced to
endure epic battles between ninja turtles
and power rangers, the war raging on for years.
As he grew the carpet
became a pillow for young lovers lying
together, hand in hand, watching tv.
Our delicate bundle tiptoed in soft as a whisper,
and our valiant carpet tolerated tea parties with
dolls and teddy bears, milk soaked cookies
mashed into its bristles until it became
part of its DNA. As she grew,
the carpet became her homework center, gently
cushioning the young scholar hard at work.
Then we blinked, my husband and I
and those children were grown.
Our stained, soiled carpet became an eyesore.
We should buy a new one, we said.
Then an announcement, a new bundle is coming.
Our first grandchild. And there will be apple juice
and cookies, tea parties and spit up,
tiny feet taking their first wobbly steps,
on our faithful, devoted Carpet of Love.
Peggy Gerber is a poet and short story writer from Northern, New Jersey. She is the 2021 winner of the Open Contract Challenge and author of the poetry chapbook Stumbling in CrazyTown. Her works can be found in many publications including Better than Starbucks, Daily Science Fiction and The World of Myth Magazine.