Monday, August 9, 2010

George II Mahogany Wing Chair

"There's no life without furniture."
Joseph Brodsky

She scouted the resale shop, picked up embroidered tablecloths,
silverware needing a shine, caved leather boots,
a white linen outfit crisp in the Bay Area heat. In the back, a lady

who had tied her ponytail with a plastic flower, stacked National Geographics
rescued from bathrooms and T.V. caddies. Then there was the chair.
Feet that could hitch a ride sticking out over the curb of a street corner.

All curves. She fell into its green silk upholstery and leaned her head
against its flank. One hundred dollars divided into four payments.
Once she loaded the chair into the trunk of the Toyota,

the ponytail lady raised a hand to her throat and watched it go.
She stationed the chair on the parquet next to the heater, but out of range.
No toasting in the dining room allowed.

Cared for the chair the way she did her family, dusted its wood,
turned over its seat cushion, ran her finger around the chartreuse
piping like a runway for fingerprints.

She felt rich, the way her body came together in one piece,
arms on wings, head pressed against its fluted back.
In the lap of others especially on evenings

when her husband remained in his bedroom, the chair 
held her close, a friend willing to be more if she needed.
Not things, although she continued to go to the resale shop,

a rotary egg beater, the kind her mother used, a pewter bread tray
crusted on the levee of other hands, 
objects with their own pyramid of touch,

a safety net for disparate thoughts
from a day of check-off lists, 
to a night of silence and closed doors.


Anonymous said...


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And by the way see the election of Miss World:

Susan Graham said...

That is a beautiful arbor! Wow, your hubby is a darling for building it. My own hubby cleaned up my whole potting bench and area yesterday so I'm not complaining, still, I wish I had an arbor like that!

Can't wait to see it after you've "twigged" it.

reclaimed wood furniture said...

my heart skipped a beat! these are soooo beautiful! they aren't my fave style, but what you did with them is incredible. you are seriously talented, and never undervalue yourself just to make sales- know your worth in this world! the right customers always do come along, given time. and don't you want your pieces to go to the right people who will LOVE them and appreciate them like you do? of course ya do.

Susan Graham