Lauds

Toi Derricotte

BPR 46 | 2019

Good morning, fat chair. Your frame is slight-
Ly askew, your wooden bones tilt, but padded
With foam & polka dotted, you seem sprite-

Ly, good-natured. I’ve known a chair to rise
Out of a night’s darkness & provide a ride
For me, above the furry carpeting, defy-

Ing gravity. Even one cock-eyed, cheap,
Can be a tilted ship climb-
Ing waves of mourning. Whatever light

Shines through this morning’s slatted blinds—
Smoky with undelivered rain—I’ve turned aside
To praise my last-legged you, for (like Jessie

Norman’s lungs) your soul breathes blithe
Operatic air, & your polka dots climb
Atmospheric strophes like poems I memorized

In school. Do not go gentle, fat chair. What we write
About we are, so you are me, plumped with an extra
Twenty pounds, a bear, lumbering. But, in a poem, we
Dance with a relic of imagination &, by imagination, live.