A Billy Collins poem about chairs
brought to mind two varnished
wooden outcasts set by the curb,
each holding a four-letter word.
Billy’s chairs were empty, placed
where no one had occasion to sit.
I imagine the ones I found had
long been put to good use.
Probably, this homeless, careworn,
high-back duo had once been
steadfast mainstays at family
gatherings around the holidays.
Sturdy and “Free” but a heavy
effort for me to carry, I’d need
two trips home— up, down, up,
then down the steep hill again.
Even now, when both grandchildren
are grown enough for the big table,
we don’t need more chairs. Dissuaded,
I decided to keep on walking.
I strolled to and through Marshalls,
adding extra steps to my daily goal,
though part of me was still stuck on
the uphill, abandoned bargains.
But, it wasn’t long before furniture
faded from my mind, for I’d found
another purse for my collection.
Later, luckily, the chairs were gone.