Northwords Now Issue 38

The FREE literary magazine of the North

The Blue Chair

by Mark Ryan Smith

The slow perfect arc it moves through
tracing a line on the wavering air,

its four upended legs reaching,
the boy stops the swing of the chair
and holds it upright, finding the balance
between its rising and its falling
towards the path, where it will split
apart and justify the ugly, angry shout
his mouth has twisted into.  It felt
wrong, even then, but we knew better
than to open our own.

The held scene opens itself,
fixes together its constructing bits
to sharpen the bleared lines
of places we moved through.
We step into made space,
and you point out
that the chair isn’t blue.

We think about lifting it clear
and replacing it, parentally,
back in its place
inside the front door,

but the scene can only play towards
its coda of boys ordered home,
trailing the ends of wooden swords
on warmed pavements; and the chair,
too small, now, for our own children,
repaired and painted (by who?)
the memorised colour of blue.