Forgotten Chairs, poem in progress

three old chairs in garden
Forgotten Chairs

Forgotten Chairs

Who is telling me a story?
Whose legs wore the paint so thin on that rounded oak edge?
Who sat for breakfast in these chairs?
Who listened to family stories?
Now that our histories are linked by chance
I want to know who you are.

A poem in progress, March 22, 2024.

Copyright 2024 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I have a fondness and also a certain protectiveness for older things that have been discarded. I’m always pulling chairs out of others’ trash, seeing they still have some use, and I don’t want them to spend the end of their useful lives in a landfill. I’ve often used them in my house for a while, then when their joints begin to loosen and paint begins to peel, they have their next life in my garden, often for a decade or so, as decorations, plant stands, even actually sitting places.

Cleaning out under my deck this spring I knew I had about six of them under there, and I’d blocked them in with garden hoses and such. Time for them to get back to work. I decided this was a great spot for these three chairs to at least spend some time, and after I’d walked back to my work area and turned to look at them, these three old oak chairs, their loose panels, peeling layers of paint in colors through the decades, the front edges worn smooth from legs, started telling me a story. So I wrote a poem.

Actually, I recorded my thoughts on my phone, and this little poem is exactly what I recorded. I find I often do better speaking my thoughts as notes than actually trying to write things in moments like this.

Not a bad deal on some free chairs


Read more:   Essays   ♦  Short Stories  ♦  Poetry

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