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Table for None

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Below is the poem entitled Table for None which was written by poet John Heck. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Table for None

I am a Savonarola chair
carved from discarded 
remnants of cedar and birch that
littered our backyard - 
waiting to be burned
or broken by a trespasser’s hands, 
or tended to by the warm touch
of a gardener’s natural instinct; 
an individual 
who values growth 
and prosperity.

I am an object
forged from splinters and sweat.
My four legs become six when your
spoiled bones and blackened hearts 
grow weary. 
Stilted fractures wax like leprosy 
within your fumbled thoughts -
seeking respite as you recount 
negligent actions upon broken fingers.

Father was a saw 
and cut out his tongue.
Mother was an awl 
boring through his visibility.
Ignorance sanded his face.

Blind eyes rendered him mute and
useless, like a comb without teeth
or a song-less linnet bird.

I am a piece of furniture.
A curio cabinet 
curiously displaying your mistrust.
An end table advertising no family portraits.
An ottoman whose cushions knead
the detestation clinging like muck upon 
the backsides of chafed ankles.

I am:
Father's severed chainsaw.
Mother's twisted liquor cap.
Sister's crumpled gum wrapper.
Brother's fleshtone punching bag.

I am a chair.
I serve a purpose - but not for you.
A chair can be slip-covered, polished, 
straddled and veneered. 
A child cannot.
I am most content when six legs
morph back into four. 

Exuberant,
I then know my 
private existence can breathe -
and the hardened antecedents
who took advantage 
of my open arms and inviting lap

have grievingly walked away.

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  1. Date: 1/17/2011 9:40:00 AM
    Congratulations on having your poetry featured this week on PoetrySoup John. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 12/27/2010 5:38:00 PM
    Congratulations on your win in Paula Swanson's "I Am...." contest John. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 12/27/2010 11:54:00 AM
    I don't quite know what to say - this poem has taken my breath away. It is disturbing, haunting, beautiful and wonderfully written, all at the same time. It is a great piece of writing, and makes me feel the same way I feel about some great works of art - I need to go back and look at them again to really understand why they touch me this way. I don't often encounter this in poetry, so I have to say again, great piece of writing. Congratulations on your winning placement in the contest.

  1. Date: 12/26/2010 5:37:00 PM
    Super congrats John my friend on your big win in the I Am contest .. with this exciting entry ... enjoy with luv and a Happy New Year too.. with richest blessings from above...always...

  1. Date: 12/26/2010 10:39:00 AM
    Ahhh....I would have put this at the top.....such a gift your poems are !!

  1. Date: 12/26/2010 10:15:00 AM
    Many congrats John for bagging coveted spot in the contest with this thoughtful creation. Merry Christmas to you & your family. Luv/best wishes...Hitendra Mehta

  1. Date: 12/25/2010 6:42:00 PM
    Congratulations on this third place win in the contest of Paula, John

  1. Date: 12/25/2010 5:14:00 PM
    really beautiful, john!! cheers to a big win in the contest... nette

  1. Date: 12/25/2010 4:53:00 PM
    Congratulations on your win..Sara

  1. Date: 12/25/2010 12:03:00 PM
    WOW~cool write!!!!I Like~CONGRATS////Merry Christmas

  1. Date: 12/25/2010 11:22:00 AM
    Congrats John on your big win!

  1. Date: 12/25/2010 9:44:00 AM
    The description of your chair gives us much to ponder. Congratulations on your win in Paula's contest. Merry Christmas, my friend. Love, Carolyn

  1. Date: 6/11/2010 8:27:00 AM
    Wonderful to read this again.....but how, my friend, does one ever choose a John Heck favorite??? (Aren't they all??.....Yes they are...!) Stunning descriptions, and as always, unique and a style no other can compare! :)

  1. Date: 6/10/2010 7:01:00 PM
    Congrats John on your big win in Mac's best poem contest with this wonderful write and most amazing entry.. enjoy another success and victory dance please.. with luv from the "Sweetheart"...

  1. Date: 6/10/2010 6:58:00 PM
    Congrats on the 7th place win, John

  1. Date: 6/10/2010 6:26:00 PM
    John, congratulations on your 7th place finish in my contest. Another magnificent poem you have penned.

  1. Date: 12/26/2009 9:21:00 AM
    Wonderful interpretation of the contest. Congratulations on your win. Love, Joyce

  1. Date: 12/22/2009 1:49:00 PM
    congratulations on first place win, it is a wonderful poem, really fantastic...

  1. Date: 12/22/2009 1:20:00 PM
    Another amazing poem, John! Winner extraordinaire! Merry Christmas, and Congrats!! Love, Carrie

  1. Date: 12/21/2009 6:39:00 PM
    congrats on the number one!!

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