Friday, May 12, 2006
The Couch Eternal
The following is a piece that I wrote for a poetry seminar at the University of Oklahoma. "Poetry?!?" you might be asking. Yes, I dabble. Anyway, I am happy to share a piece that I am proud of. Perhaps you might want to print it off on a tshirt or something... that would be cool.
The couch has not moved in my lifetime.
Really, since 1982 it has set in the same spot,
looking out the bay window onto the acorn covered lawn.
Next to it, a fancy globe that you would expect to see in a great reading room.
The one my brother and I would spin as fast as we could, stopping it with an index finger, hoping to land in some exotic country.
The room was timeless.
It was like some other dimension where
shag carpet is always in style,
Reagan is always president,
and my dad always has a mustache.
But today we are releasing the pause button on our lives.
The water bursts through the floodgates and time starts up again.
The new owners will come in and like wolves will rip the faded wallpaper down,
and erect a new coffee table in place of this old couch,
as if they knew what was best.
For you see, I am escorting this couch to Goodwill like a prisoner digs a trench.
It is not my idea, I am not the mastermind behind this operation.
Who really wants to say goodbye to the room where you spent 21 Christmases,
around the biggest Christmas tree you'd ever seen?
And who wishes to hand over the key's of Gram's house to some stranger
who can never respect just what that old room meant to you?
Lift with your legs.... 1... 2... 3...
As easily as it was put down the couch leaves the earth.
And the fossilized carpet where its feet had been for years
is now the only proof that we were there in the first place.
Crumbs from a decade ago
are swept up and so it seems that I will have to begin
planting memories in other rooms
and create worlds for my own children's children where
Bush is always president,
flat screen TV's are something to be impressed by,
and my wife sits and wonders when I will finally get a haircut.
Whatever the case may be and until I find this room,
I sense that when I turn out the light
I am doing more than shutting off an electrical current.