Tag Archives: Nostalgia

Courage at Twilight: The Old Red Chair

After I organized my home office, in the former guest bedroom, I received an email from Dad asking if my red office chair held sentimental meaning to me, and, if not, perhaps I should consider getting a new office chair. I bought the cushioned red cloth chair thirty years ago as my writing chair.  I sat and rocked in it eight years ago as I typed the first, second, and final manuscripts of my book, Rabbit Lane: Memoir of a Country Road, as well as my volume of recent poetry, A Time and A Season.  The red cloth has faded, the spring has stretched into a permanent recline, and the paint has been scratched off the wood arms.  For years my son Brian used it in his room at his desk; daughter Erin also enjoyed the chair, and repainted the wood arms and legs.  But it is showing its age, and Dad thought it might not represent me professionally on Zoom.  Time to let it go.  I asked Brian if he might like his childhood chair, and he replied in the enthusiastic affirmative.  I will miss my old red chair, but it was starting to hurt my back, and I’m so glad Brian will enjoy sitting and rocking in it as he writes his poems and creative non-fiction essays and reads pictures book to little Lila.  The old red chair will fit his MFA nicely.

Apple Tree

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Old things fill me with such deep feelings of nostalgia.  It is as if they contain an essence of goodness and profundity that has somehow become lost and forgotten.  They are voices of lives and things far away but not diminished in value for their distance.  This poem highlights some of these, trying to catch that uncatchable essence.

APPLE TREE

The tree has grown
unpruned
for some seasons now. Golden
apples hang unpicked,
falling one by one
as breezes blow
and neighbors jostle, to cider
in the soil, enriching
first yellow jackets,
then slugs and worms and grass
still green in Fall.

The old brick bungalow,
white paint peeling,
has gone unlived in
for many years now. The smoke
is stilled, and the chimney soot
is old and cold. She was
born here, birthed
in her mama’s brass bed.
She played in the ditch,
munched raw oats, picked
nosegays of daisies and asters,
and planted pips
from a golden apple
in a secret spot of soil.

The misted vase has sat
empty upon the table
for so very long now. Dust has settled
into stem and petal etchings, caught
upon dry, white mineral rings. Outside,
beside bungalow brick,
hyacinths, daffodils, tulips,
irises rise in rows
to bloom each Spring,
bidden only
by sun and warm soil.

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