Monday, June 7, 2010

Ode to a Well-Worn Couch

Farewell beloved green couch
Olive, cotton, worn, soft, stained.
Cozy and smooth like a favorite blanket,
Now rejected in your tattered and weary state.
Once a place of refuge for an exhausted child, mother, father, friend.
You comforted us when we were too sick or sad to sleep in our own beds.
You welcomed our guests.
You enveloped a new mother nursing her newborn infant.
You were patient, brave and strong when armies of toddlers trampled over you like a playground.
For seven years you were the hub of our home.
In our small apartments you were always close by, always available.
But we thought we needed more space, more rooms with more couches.
And so we moved, and bought more couches to fill the rooms.
You were showing your age and we were ashamed of you.
We had stained you, torn you, tattered you, and so we banished you to the basement.
Abandoned in the sea of toys and tots.
A vibrant red couch took your place as the most popular seat in the house--but it never felt quite the same.
Months would pass between our infrequent visits with you.
We’d lay on your familiar cool cotton twill softness and reminisce of our joyful young family in cozy one-couch homes.
You felt like California and Chicago.
You felt like Thursday night “Must See TV”.
You felt like a late night rendezvous.
You felt like mornings that started much, much too early because a toddler was done sleeping.
You felt like lazy Sunday afternoons.
But, whenever we were to host a guest we were ashamed of you—-so soft and comfortable, but so unattractive.
We wanted more seating for our growing family, we wanted something prettier.
And so, one day a truck arrived with a pristine new sectional.
You were sent to the garage. No longer fit for even the basement.
A $50 Craigslist ad went unanswered. You were of no value.
Weeks passed, we reposted you, worthless, for free, and finally a taker.
Too impatient to wait around to greet your new family, we left you on the snow covered porch, covered only by a haphazardly placed plastic tarp.
Our parting thoughts were, “my doesn’t that couch make our house look trashy,” sitting there absurdly, humiliatingly on the front porch.
Maybe you are covered with a slip cover now.
Maybe you are in another basement now.
Maybe you are again the hub of a home.
We watched Chair, your loyal lifelong companion, topple into the garbage truck. The tear on her arm too unsightly for anything but landfill. I felt remorse for not trying more diligently to find her a new home. She was a good seat too.


Anonymous said...

Great post! I am a garbage collector. We take couches and other furniture like this daily. Had a woman this morning who didn't expect her old couch and chair to go into the truck with the bags...did you watch it get compressed?

Angela said...

I am laughing so hard I am crying! CLASSIC! I think I need to link to your poem on my blog so all my friends can read! This is THE BEST!

Bekah Nugent said...

Oh I loved that couch. All the warm summer nights pregnant with Jax taking over your basement. We'll miss you couch. Our red couch is on craigslist too.