The Life of Chairs

 I’ve seen them in a dining-room

after the guests have gone

turn to each other and murmur,

bored with heated argument

and hissy whispered gossip.

In an emptied room, at last,

chairs express a view.

Free of careless bodies,

they show off shapely curves

(carved for a long career

supporting difficult backs),

their strong but slender legs

and seats of leather polished

by those who merely slump.

There were some in a garden once,

arms tilted over a bench

to avoid collecting rain.

They formed a family group

averse to being disturbed—

but a fire was lit, the steaks cooked

and they were yanked apart.

I knew a grieving armchair

after the husband left.

It wore an air of dismay,

mocked by the ticking clock,

snores from contented cushions.  

Clearly its vacant seat

yearned for the lost man.

That’s the thing about chairs,

they’re built to last, to outlive

generations of owners.

The heirs will take them off

to get re-sprung and re-covered.

Outwitting the effects of time,

they have the last laugh.

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