I'm a poet and writer living for the past six years in the South Jersey shore area. I moved here from North Jersey in 2009 after the 2008 death of my husband William J. (Bill) Higginson, author of The Haiku Handbook, to be closer to my daughter and family. I'm a mom, grandma, and sometimes poet-teacher for the NJSCA. My work has appeared in many journals, and in twenty-some books (including chapbooks). I read at the Dodge Festival in 2010, and have enjoyed two poetry residencies at VCCA (January 2011; March 2015). Please visit my website:www.2hweb.net/penhart and my blog: http://penhart.wordpress.com
Listening to Furniture
Were things otherwise, I would not be listening
to furniture in the rooms of my head.
I would leave the old couch in the living-room
just as it is—cherish the dented cushion where
you sit day after day, and the back pillow whose
top seams slide downward from the weight of
your shoulders and sleeping head.
Were things otherwise, the stack of fake logs
by the fireplace would never be used, but huddle
there forever, waiting for the next polar freeze,
and the corner rocking chair would still be sitting
motionless by the window.
And what about the small dining table with its loose
legs, all four a bit wobbly like my own? Were things
otherwise, it would stand there forever, shaky but
proud, along with its four maple chairs, its surface
littered with vitamin bottles, papers, and crumbs.
Fluff me up, begs the couch. Burn me, hiss the logs.
For the love of God, clean me off and tighten my
screws so I can be foursquare, whines the table. Please
let me rock the night away, the rocking chair whimpers,
moonlight trapped between its white spindles.
Far from home, I heed the supplications of the lonely,
feel the pain of the neglected, then do what I can.
©2015 Penny Harter