Monday, July 15, 2019

The Orphan

Image used for "The Sunday Muse
The Orphan

The college boys considered it a road-side treasure,
excitedly hauled the orphan home, lugged it up
worn steps and placed it (for the next three years),
none too gently on the slant-floored, over-sized stoop
mostly out of reach of rain, snow, sleet, and hail.

If not an antique, it was certainly "aged";
not a worthy investment with one leg missing,
but nothing a cinder block couldn't cure.
It's suede-like fabric boasted a distant connection
to fashion, but one had to squint to notice.

But free was a different story,
and the boys felt they'd rescued it from its beggard fate,
and many an evening and starry night were spent
playing cards, laughing, and attempting to woo a girl or two.

Napoleon Street was not as grand as its namesake,
nor did neighbors complain of the addition
as they had similar settees gracing similar porches.

Mid-day one might find clothes-lines sagging
with undergarments; I particularly was charmed
by the occasional quilt drying in a shaded oasis,
as if sunlight might damage faded and worn fabric.

Come evening, hellos and good-days emanated
from beneath these covered respits,
glasses raised, even the teetotalers joined in,
swigged down refreshing toasts on hot summer days.

Must confess I was never tempted to rest
upon the golden "velvet" couch, but was sad,
upon graduation, when I watched it hauled off
to another college porch, the boys insisting its presence
was a "legacy" to be upheld.

by Margaret Bednar, July 15, 2019

linked with "The Sunday Muse - #64" and "The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform".

I invite you to listen to me read my poem:


16 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

What a cool story! I love the idea of people sitting on front porches in summer evenings....that old couch certainly had a long career.

Carrie Van Horn said...

That old couch does have a legacy. Love the story it holds here! Tbis is wonderfil Margaret!

Sanaa Rizvi said...

This is such a cool story, Margaret!💖 Especially love; "Its suede-like fabric boasted a distant connection to fashion, but one had to squint to notice."😊

Anmol (HA) said...

There is something so charming about this recollection — I love the visuals and how they make an instant connection with the reader. There are small details that make the object of attention so endearing and its loss quite heartwarming, speaking of all the times we move ahead and leave some things behind.

Jim said...

Margaret, I have had a couch like that. Not for love making though. After our, my first and only--she had two more, I was living with furniture given me by coworkers and church friends, but no couch. I rescued this one from a road ditch. It only had three legs, I put a paint bucket under a missing back one. It had a history with me, of sorts.
Thanks for the memory jolt.
Second one this week. I had an operational position behind the walls of the control center at NASA Houston during the Apollo 11 launch, in the electronic data and communications stream as an Aerospace Engineer. IF I write today I will tell some.
..

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love how you wove a very credible story from the picture.

Rommy said...

This made me grin, remembering my old college days and the questionable furniture I have known, and anticipating my son's eventual brush with these motley pieces (he's starting his sophomore year in the fall). We weren't too picky about what we sat on, as long as good-natured geekery was going on.

Kim M. Russell said...

I so enjoyed this poem, Margaret, not least because I adopted an ‘orphan’ couch when I lived and studied in Germany; I cleaned it and covered it in purple velvet. It had pride of place in my sitting room for a couple of years and, when I left Cologne for Ireland, a friend of mine took it and cared for it too.
I love the picture of the community you’ve painted.

Lori said...

My goodness, this reminds me of the University ghetto of student housing. You could be guaranteed that the front verandas with couches were inhabited by students. I could see the street and the house and the boys that lived there. Fantastically written.

Timoteo said...

If that old couch could speak, what tales it would likely tell.

tonispencer said...

What a fun story. It reminds me of some questionable furniture in my college days.

The Real Cie said...

Sometimes the most un-beautiful things are the best!

Thotpurge said...

The history! The stories! I like your take on that picture!

Susie Clevenger said...

Oh, I love the story in this couch. Beauty is in the eye of a college student. :)

Priscilla King said...

I like the image of that rescued couch on that porch.

purplepeninportland.com said...

Love your couch story, Margaret. You gave it life!