Lizzy Beck: Two Chairs

Beside the health center you saw two chairs:
wooden, solid, placed
just so, as in a draftsman’s rendering.

They sat inside a bed of daffodils—
not two-toned
but yellow all the way through. The chairs

were empty. Had to be. You had a momentary
wish to meet
the giddy gardener who had planted daffodils

right up to the chairs’ legs, so the chairs would be
swimming in blooms,
the seats like placid rafts the yellow waters

sometimes lapped. If you pick your way through,
delicate and discerning
in your bare feet, you must then raise your legs

out of the cluster, cross them well, and sit
as if an island.
You must commit to quiet. A single stem

might wreathe itself around your calf, a head
bob on the surf,
a flower-eating waterbird could choose you

as its perch. You’ll close your eyes and know
what yellow smells like.
But no—the gardener madly with his shears—

It’s not for you. Are you an island?
Look again: two chairs.

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