The chair in the garage came recently to mind;
Straight ladder back, built for utility not comfort,
Heavy enough for leaning back front legs off the floor;
Thick glossy shellac,
Chipped and yellow with age,
Cigarette burns like smokey teardrops circle the seat.
It was the one my grandad sat in, to observe
The workings and comings and goings, when he was
Too old and infirm to work the saws and airhammers.
People still stopped to see him and commiserate as he sat,
Shirt buttoned to his neck; hat pulled down
Waiting patiently to be asked
A question or given a beer.
There was talk that his father had used the same chair
To sit by the open door and take in the morning sun;
But that was well before me.
After grandad was gone, the chair stayed largely empty
But for short respites from labor or concrete floors.
Until my dad settled into it after the first surgery.
He had taken to wearing a hat
and buttoning his shirt to the top.
I’ve wondered about that chair;
If it stll exists in the building long sold
I need a place to sit now and watch the parade
That continues, but includes only my shadow.