Ten Feet from the Curb

On my way back from work
As I drive by our house
I spot an old friend out front
Our russet plaid sleeper sofa
Looking at once shameful and indecent
Like a neighborhood flasher daring to be caught

But as I pull over to the curb, closer, within broadcast range
Of the sofa’s most intimate memories
I decide it looks just fine there
Discarded, yet dignified
Like a new kind of fall foliage
That has touched down just now
Accepting its seasonal exit
With both beauty and grace

I get out of my car to greet it
It balances there, cast off at a precarious angle
One leg inadvertently placed upon
The white stone bordering the front maple tree
And its opposite corner, just off the curb
As if purposefully raising a knee
And striking a jaunty, last pose
Patiently awaiting the camera flash of my reminiscence
In the sepia backdrop of timeworn memories

There is the wide, reassuring arm
On my preferred right hand side
Extending toward me again
The same arm that held me miraculously upright
And also upheld the unpredictable
Wonderful new gravity
Of your slim figure
As you folded one leg under
And told me of our imminent first born

Although not visible
The sofa surely still held tight the secret
Of the wheezing fold-out bed we made love on
While your visiting mother took over our bedroom
And carelessly burned holes in our comforter
With her ceaseless, drowsy smoking

Here is the same collapsed middle cushion
I sat upon squarely, uncomfortably
For the first time
When you told me you loved me
No more

It pleases me, that my eviction
Was apparently much easier
Than the sofa’s
It held out somehow, until today
So I sit
As once familiar cars slow
And evening joggers and walkers
Make a calculated cross
To the other side

As I settle deeper into our sofa
And lace my hands behind my head
I remember that, in the end
As you made very clear
I learned so little
During our time together
But I learned a few handy things
Like, for instance:
Ten feet from the curb
Is town property

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