The Maynard
Spring 2015

annie ross


someone in a very crowded room shouts
‘what a sophisticated design’
while workers stack chairs in positions of lovers
one another.
as the stack grows tall,
courtesans appear as acrobats,
when they balance water glasses, or spinning dishes
concentrating, yet
about to fall

entangled birch chairs
with red cloth laps
mute, dutiful characters
taking up so little room
atop one another

their father, not a carpenter
their mother, made them no crochet rabbit runners
but they do fit together
manufactured lack of will,
compliant, in the back of a pick up

and here i am. among
on the highway, thinking of furniture.
they, obedient like sheep,
not a bray, not a yea, from them
as they meditate, accepting their nature
and the nature of man

no need to tie these down
soul’s firefight left them
in the wood chipper
in the glue bath
in the packing line
in the cardboard

we sit together, at rush hour
the meek inherited not the earth
but the freeway
a stack of chairs, gravity and consent
failed to fly, when stop and go
stopped and went
maybe thinking for a moment, they were trees,
full of birds, again.

their power, as they fell, out
was in turning three snakes of cars
into one grand metal snake
as they reincarnated themselves
into matchsticks upon the interstate,
now a campground of sorts
where we,
prisoners of our metal or plastic tombs
sit in the sun
along an automobile river
in this place in Oregon
once a forest