Home > Nature in the Cracks > Chair, Formerly Red

Chair, Formerly Red

April 20, 2008

Yesterday in the woods behind the shed
I found one of the metal chairs mother placed
for you — every 30 feet, wasn’t it? —
so you could get out and walk. Tucked

between white pine and some old farm
equipment rusting under an A-frame.
Small as a schoolchild’s; poritic, thorn-sprung.
Nibbled by a decade of freezes and thaws.

All things revert to form if left long enough,
you used to say. Relieved of the burden
of bearing your weight, the chair
has given up bits of itself to the wild —

red hue to rust, smooth finish
to stubble; less matter, now, than negative
space — a crude outline of a chair, linocut,
the details gouged out. But see

how the steel fibers stretch
to bridge the gaps, as skin closes
around a wound. Tentative.
Stripped. Still holding.

by Laura Ring

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  1. April 20, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Oh, this is absolutely wonderful. A terrific poem.

  2. April 21, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Thank you so much, Dale!

  3. April 21, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Enjoyed this so much. And a voice like a bell.

  4. April 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Thank you, Sarah!

  5. Allan
    April 21, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Nice feel to that poem, how things are reluctant to let go. I also love your love of language and words as evidenced by some archived blogs of yours.
    Urdu even. In the poem, can I presume that poritic is the same as porotic?

  6. April 21, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Thank you so much, Allen! Well, I had to look up porotic (which was no hardship, as I like words), and it seems to have some obscure medical meaning, while poritic is usually used to refer to rocks and coral. But who knows? I was hoping to evoke “pitted.” Thanks, also, for visiting my blog!

  7. April 21, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    I take it back, Allan (and sorry for the misspell) –
    poritic and porotic both seem to be used to mean “porous” (as in osteoporitic, and porotic bones). Probably more information than you needed.

  8. Tom Sheehan
    April 22, 2008 at 6:49 am

    Lovely recollection, taking me to my grandfather’s final walks. When he looked at me, it was never sidelong or indirect. He never spoke about the weather, and never asked what time it was. He just heard the music that was important to him, and hoping, knowing, I was hearing it too; the lonely loon, the frog bloating, the sun hiss.

  9. April 22, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    That’s lovely. Thanks, Tom.

  10. April 24, 2008 at 1:00 am

    Beautifully evocative. Specifics I can grasp and hold and make mine.

  11. April 25, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Thank you so much, Deb.

  12. April 26, 2008 at 1:21 am

    Wonderful – such an acute sense of the inorganic going back to nature.

  13. April 27, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you, Dick!

  14. April 29, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Lovely to see this published, Laura. I remember you workshopping this at Wild.

    Well done, and I really enjoyed hearing you read it.

    best regards,

  15. April 29, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Thank you so much, LJ!

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