the chairs

I used to push and pull them
with cheery clang and jangle
send them to each other
as violent as a tango
or as gentle as a glissade
and draw the fur of dogs,
pull the dust of shedding sunlight,
from piles around their ankles.

I am with the soot in a heap,
my back thrown into spasm
by the motion of my broom.
I glower at their fancy footwork
curlicues of black steel
that swept me off my feet once
and tease me now under the table
partnered up and ready to dance.

I am suspicious of them all—
not just these pretties casting
perfect shadows in morning light.
But every chair—wing and parson,
rocker, stool and throne, the straight
and curved, the soft and hard—
all are suspect now.
A chair should be trusted.

A chair like a lover should know
exactly how to hold you.

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