by Ute Carson
Literary Yard, June 2019

My grandmother's couch is stuffed with horsehair.
The fabric is faded and threadbare.
The old cushions have been covered
with fresh material on occasion.
Grandmother used to read her Bible
while leaning into the upholstery.
Later on, my mother's knitting needles
clicked against the wooden armrests.
Still later, children and grandchildren
slurped from their milk bottles
well beyond babyhood and
bounced to the squeaking of rusted springs.
The experiences of loved ones
are traceable in the seams.
The couch bears the contours of past and present.
More than a cherished piece of furniture
it is a treasured keepsake of a family's life
woven through with nostalgia
for vanished people and times.

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