The Yellow Chair
My husband calls me to it like a child. Come and sit.
No matter I am in the garden or mopping floors. Today,
another in a year of days, I must settle on the hard tufting,
shoulders back, hands folded, my toes scraping
the wooden floor. And we begin. Wasps flit the windows,
August bakes the air. His brush worries the canvas –
so slowly. Thirty strokes in an hour. Nestled like an apple in
a china bowl, I count them from my spot. Until the light is gone.
Then at last we must stop. And there is the chair, its rough
brocade forever at my elbow. My face always flat and dull —
squinty eyes, teacup ear, harrow-parted hair. My long fingers
that once pleasured him, a twisted jumble falling
from my sleeves. His composition never changing more
than the tilt of my head, a deeper blue for shadows.
My red dress. He asks for it each day. Though the heavy fabric
stinks with sweat and others in my closet are more branché,
he cares only for its deep colour and soft drape. How it plays
against the yellow chair.
Iris Rosenberg has worked in factories, nursery schools, rehab centers, newspaper offices, corporate bullpens and college classrooms. She has an MFA in Painting from Pratt, and writes both poetry and fiction. She was a long-time poetry reviewer for Library Journal. She lives in New York City and has studied with Mark Wunderlich, Patricia Marx, Hermine Meinhard and other writers.
The Ekphrastic Review
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