“My Chair” and “That Hat”

Poetry by Lawrence Bridges

“My Chair” and “That Hat”

My Chair

Where I sit is not my chair

but on my bones stacked up my back.

The me is from shoulders down for air,

chin up for sight and speech.

Though toes curl the chair legs

for balance, my feeling is, has always

been, that life is in my hands.

I bite their ends, steady minutest

threading for eyes as guide, but hands,

to put the finer point on it, are touch

that sends another's skin the feelings

all these bones contain, before

a word is said or eyes meet where it's dark.

I held a foot high in the air and

pressed it to cheek, held lower leg

like a bundle of baby bones and cried

that this was not the joy that keeps

me here but makes others live.

Where I sit is not my chair

Where I love is not my body

What I see is not my life.

That Hat

Nothing

is what

the yellow leaves

on green grass

hinge backward

to these seconds

in the dark.

I remember

driving toward

the late sun,

ice on steel

and concrete,

blindness

without shade.

I want that hat

I hit on the roadway

as evidence

I passed there.

About the Author

Lawrence Bridges

Website

Lawrence Bridges is best known for work in the film and literary world. His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Tampa Review. He has published three volumes of poetry: Horses on Drums, Flip Days, and Brownwood. As a filmmaker, he created a series of literary documentaries for the NEA’s “Big Read” initiative, which include profiles of Ray Bradbury, Amy Tan, Tobias Wolff, and Cynthia Ozick.