Chair of Heavy Wood

by Zach Lewis

A chair of heavy wood stood

in the kitchen candlelit by wicked beeswax.

This chair slept under the shadow of dried rosemary,

copper pots and iron skillets.

A seat for her and for him.

For the woman to rest,

read letters and recipes baked

for her husband.

 

He wore a fox fur covered leather coat on his hunts for quail.

He drank and ate the marbled slice of rye with apricot jam

carved for him

and preserved

by the woman

in the chair of heavy wood.

She followed her tracks in the snow

forever bounded to the docks for news of salt and pork

and metals too precious to smelt.

 

The woman who baked in the glow of fire, her face

smeared and perfumed by the smoke from a stone oven,

sat in the chair of heavy wood

to read a letter from her son.

A message typed by steel hammers swung into ink splattered ribbons:

“my arrival is soon and will coincide

with a bounty of fresh vegetables and chocolates

for you and father.

The harvest yields

To the whims of a bipolar spring.”

 

She sat and seasoned the dough with turmeric to salve

an inflammation of the heart –

 

a beat on the door

removed the woman from

a chair of heavy wood now

warm and emptied.

Zach Lewis is a writer and a student at the University of New Hampshire. His poetry received an honorable mention for the Richard M. Ford Award for Excellence in Poetry.

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July 2019

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