I remember the first was black, and spun easily

I crept behind it when the Outer Limits started

And we lost control of the television set

He saw me peeking out and ordered me to bed

Rescuing me from nightmares.

The second was a La-Z-Boy, reddish, like bricks;

The second and the last

It stayed in the living room, in the houses where he lived.

It was comfortable. My siblings and I loved the way the footrest swung out,

And the back reclined.

It could rock (but did not spin) in sitting mode.

When the footrest engaged, with a clacking of gears

It planted its weight into the floor

Solid and secure. You could sleep on it.

Many times he did.

Decades later I sit and lean back and I can

Faintly smell the pomade he put on his hair,

Brylcreem, the pompadour’s friend.

In high school we read The Outsiders

I wondered what it would be like to be a greaser

Never realizing my father had been one.

It abides a while longer in my mother’s living room

Unused, its work mostly done, soon to be junk

It bears the weight of memories with no complaint.

John Langendoerfer lives in East Windsor and works as the IT director of a small market research company. When not in the office he navigates his other roles as husband, as father to a teenager, and as an aspiring writer. Once in a while he breaks free from the computer and goes hiking or trail biking with friends.

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