I’m not always sentimental about things. I couldn’t wait to get rid of Story’s bassinet and baby clothes. Most of her artwork has found its way to the recycle bin. And when I’m in purge mode, nothing is safe. However, I have a very strong attachment to one particular piece of furniture: the recliner.
My mom bought me a new recliner for Christmas this past year. It is super comfortable and reclines easily. You don’t have to put pillows into the sides to avoid being stabbed by metal. You don’t have to be sure the dogs and kids don’t go behind it because of random loose staples poking through the fabric. You don’t have to sit cockeyed to see straight ahead. There are so many wonderful things about the new recliner. But for some reason, I just can’t let go of the old one. Instead, I hauled it up the too-steep stairs into my bedroom. There really isn’t room for it, and yes, it’s blocking the escape on our fire escape plan. But I can only see love in its shabbiness. Ali has threatened to get rid of it when I’m away, but I think she knows that such an action would bring me to actual, not exaggerated, tears. It is to this recliner I pour out my heart in terrible rhyme.
O Recliner of forest green,
So much of my mothering life you’ve seen.
Your arms welcomed us to a new adventure,
She, ready to challenge the world; me, still a bit unsure.
You were a talisman, a piece of my childhood home,
Traveling all that way to be my personal shalom.
We met every day and every night,
And though I did not see you, never out of my sight
I worked, ate, sang, and slept on you.
Story learned, ate, sang, and slept on you.
You were the only one who could provide rest
Those nights we were kept awake by a coughing, wheezing chest.
You heard many a story and song and rhyme.
You were stained with food and drink and spit-up and grime.
You suffered greatly at toddler hands and feet,
Yet always provided a snuggle when she was beat.
On you, we read together, played together, sang together, and more.
When we were up the creek, you were our oar.
O Recliner, Ali wants you dead.
But I shall not give up even one single thread.