Chairs

chair on dock 06.18.15  I’m famous for all the seating groups we have here at the lake.  There are teak Adirondacks down at the water by the fire pit; a collection of wicker under the sheltering roof of the porch; wrought iron chaises and chairs on the stone terrace; wood benches in the shade of the woods.  And, I just added two bright red wicker chairs down at the dock, competing with the geraniums for beautiful color composition of blue water and green grass.  The dock has its own flotilla of striped deck chairs and little red beach chairs.

Well, if you give yourself over to an entire day and evening of living at the lake, you will need this variety–sun when it’s still chilly, shade when it gets hot, lakeside for hearing the lapping water, the terrace to get out of the gales or away from the parade of boats.  Billy Collins warns me to sit in as many as I can.

The Chairs That No One Sits In
BY BILLY COLLINS
You see them on porches and on lawns
down by the lakeside,
usually arranged in pairs implying a couple

who might sit there and look out
at the water or the big shade trees.
The trouble is you never see anyone

sitting in these forlorn chairs
though at one time it must have seemed
a good place to stop and do nothing for a while.

Sometimes there is a little table
between the chairs where no one
is resting a glass or placing a book facedown.

It might be none of my business,
but it might be a good idea one day
for everyone who placed those vacant chairs

on a veranda or a dock to sit down in them
for the sake of remembering
whatever it was they thought deserved

to be viewed from two chairs
side by side with a table in between.
The clouds are high and massive that day.

The woman looks up from her book.
The man takes a sip of his drink.
Then there is nothing but the sound of their looking,

the lapping of lake water, and a call of one bird
then another, cries of joy or warning—
it passes the time to wonder which.

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