“Self-Inflicted”

this is the most uncomfortable of chairs
poorly crafted, with a protruding knob that somehow
always seems to find the tailbone
cat scratches mark the varnish
the back leans at unexpected angle,
and yet
for twenty years I’ve toted this chair
from state to state and house to house
acquiring new dings and other scrapes
‘personality’ some would call it
‘ruined’ would say others
I’ve difficulty letting go
of this wooden torture device
not because my great-grandfather crafted it
nor because my grandmother would be dismayed
to hear of its abandonment
but because it makes me think
and after this many years
so few people have offered the same courtesy
but been permitted acceptance for far longer
sometimes I think this chair,
this ill-conceived, well-intended bit of construction
must have more understanding of things
than most people I will ever meet
perhaps if I sit, and suffer silently
it will whisper secrets to me
and we will smile together, knowing
that both of us serve little purpose
and we often fail to serve that purpose well
but we know something great and terrible
useful is a relative word
I’m certain my chiropractor would agree

© M. Black, 2017 All rights reserved.

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