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Wooden Chair - poetry by Sarah Winickoff

Wooden Chair

Stiff, criss-crossing scaffolding, simultaneous rounded arches.

Legs like Greco-Roman columns, and as ancient.

With a glaze over, like the eyes of an old woman, pearly. Designs carved so deep,

it grew this way, from the ground, I just know.

You can see its roots, warm nutty color, a whiff of aged perfume on leathery skin

Musty attic rugs, with rays of light that penetrate windows, visible in the dust of lost feelings.

Light, and dark brown, and rings of age. Memories of sadness in the stump,

and a cloaked woman. She cradles herself, wishing the chair wasn’t so stiff.

That it could be a rocking chair to lull her to sleep like a child.

That it could sink in when she sat, and swallow her up.

Lost in time on a curb somewhere, not a tree in sight, and the people don’t look twice at her

Resting on squares of sidewalk crusted in cigarette butts

She sings softly to herself about her forest.

One day there was a child, tilted back, breathing delicately, warming the chair,

so the chair sang to her,

“Why am I still? I want to cradle you in my branches. Is it enough to sit here?”

And the child stayed too long. The chair stayed too,

the child remembered it being enough.

The girl is not small.

She comes, she sits and hums, she coughs and wheezes.

The oak holds her, as hushed harmonies escape their lips in the breeze

She traces the tree’s designs and her weary and crippled fingers branch downwards.

Intertwining roots run through the earth,

A sprout from beside the gravestone of a tree.


Sarah Winickoff, a junior in Massachusetts, loves rowing, art, people, and writing. Writing provides an outlet when she feels trapped in expectations. It’s a separate world that she can stroll around--nothing is more exhilarating. She writes realistic fiction with fantastical imagery, because that’s how she views her life: through a surreal lens, perspective zooming in and out. Her mind is never quiet, so she is always writing to get her thoughts out, and mostly writes for herself. She hopes others can relate to feelings expressed in her writing because relating to other people's emotions makes her feel most loved.

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