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;
who values growth
I am an object
forged from splinters and sweat.
My four legs become six when your
spoiled bones and blackened hearts
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.
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.
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.