The first one lasted thirteen years
And helped them get two children;
It sagged and angled gravity
And rolled the two of them together,
Peacefully fallen in their sleep
Where curling the same way every night
They shared his snoring, her chilly feet.
Now at forty, they buy another
And figure one more after that.
Two more rounds of breaking in and down,
At first the favored sag and then
The deep canal of their linked sleep
Deepening farther every year they keep
To the same old wager, he from his side,
She from hers, the mattress not so wide
Now but serviceable, as they reckon
Under the current spread, three score and ten.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 7 Number 8, on page 39
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