What Complains, Hangs Around

He hears the chair talk back day in,
day out, hears it groan and gripe
like a fishwife on Monday; so he just
settles slowly onto the cracked leather pad,
still sagging from his uncle's abundance.
Joints loose threaten and tease-
it's as he's always known them,
a little shaky and grimly strong.
One day, he thinks, gorilla glue to
the rescue; shore up this damn thing.
The chair has been an heirloom of intentions,
everyone's favorite throne to give 'em hell!
It holds more than bottoms and legs,
it's collected countless conversations:
Murrow's report from Warsaw, the bickering
when Cronkite questioned the TET. Now
Garrels has exposed her days in Baghdad
as Rivera pled for New Orleans.
This chair is tired; it creaks because
it's full and worn bone thin. The patina
along its arms glows mocha, oiled over decades
by hands bearing up under the news.
It could tell him- what complains usually
hangs around - sturdy as the bottom note
in a dirge, inflated as the bitter edge
of sweet. What complains builds gravity,
a reason to sit a little longer.
It could tell him even the sturdiest ones
welcome empty moments because
thoughts must settle like dust; and it hopes
tomorrow, he remembers the gorilla glue.


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