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The Purple Chair

She toasted to the air
She toasted to the air
Shelley Stutchman

The Purple Chair was written for the Lemonade Ladies poetry night by me. I was not going to include it in the Lemonade Ladies poems I have been publishing; however, one of the other Lemonade Ladies asked me to. She said it touched her, made her cry, and helped her heal.

Dealing with depression steals the best of who you are. When we had the poetry night at our meeting, some ladies said it had been so long since they had been creative, that writing their poems freed them, and they were ready to find themselves again in the arts. The arts have always been important to me. I can get lost gazing at a painting; I can cry when I listen to the words of a song, and my breath was once taken away as I stood in front of Michelangelo’s David in Florence, Italy.

I will never forget the moment, I understood the power of poetry. I was fourteen; the night was stormy; I was at Canton Lake. I was in the kind of mood only a fourteen- year- old girl can get into. I walked to where I could see and hear the water lapping on the shore, I could smell the scent of Coppertone sun tan lotion lingering in the air, my transistor radio was playing, Sittin on the Dock of the Bay, and I had my notebook with me. Usually, I would draw, but with the moon as my light, I wrote a poem, the poem was about all the fears buried deep inside of me, inside of that fourteen-year-old girl. I wrote and wrote, and when I was finished, I read my poem to the wind, hearing my own voice floating around me, and at that moment, I knew poetry was powerful.

For Lemonade Ladies, I wrote The Purple Chair. The intent of the poem is to show how deep grief mixed with denial, can cause a person to vegetate, and never move on.

The poem is about life; life at its best and life at its worse. It is about the pungent notes life sometimes throws in the midst. It shows how some people just walk away and never look back; how some people try to sort through the sour notes, find the truth, and move on; and it illustrates how the sour notes can also consume someone. The lady in The Purple Chair, believed in others rather than in herself. She refused to let go of her dream, and make a new one. She wrapped up all her aspirations in a person, and when that person walked away, she had nothing. The poem deals with what happens when you don’t believe in yourself; how easily you can be destroyed by others. The Purple Chair sadly demonstrates a life that was wasted, hoping where hope no longer existed. With a new dream, she could have found herself once more, but she drank wine to forget, and wine to remember, and never moved on from The Purple Chair.

The Purple Chair
By Shelley Stutchman

He and she,
She and he,
Two souls as one,
Sitting side by side in the purple chairs.

The black baby grand,
Sparkling tones, the notes sustained,
Charming music into magic,
He and she holding hands,
Sitting side by side, in the purple chairs.

The notes floating in the room,
He looks at her, she looks at him,
His fingers pretending to play a tune,
Sitting side by side, in the purple chairs.

She knew at that moment,
She knew something important,
She would make his dream come true,
She would make all his dreams come true,
Sitting side by side in the purple chairs.

She believed he could do anything,
She would buy for him,
A black baby grand,
And two purple chairs.

He would play the music within him,
Sharing it only with her,
She smiled at him,
Joyful to give him his every whim,
While they sat side by side in the two purple chairs.

The passion of the music,
Held them in total surrender
To the music and to each other, they were so tender,
As they sat side by side in the two purple chairs.

They made plans and dreams, and were in love,
Then a sour note invaded,
The magic stopped,
The music faded.
She sat crying in the purple chair.

If she had the power to,
She would have rewrote the sour note,
But the moment passed,
She sat shattered in the purple chair.

The sour note was mean and vile,
He let it fill his head,
The music ceased,
The room was still.
He no longer sat in the purple chair.

Abruptly her world did not seem real,
Without the music to guide her,
She was lost, she was confused, she did not know how to feel,
As she sat alone in the purple chair.

The sour note wanted,
The music to die,
The magic to die,
Die damn you, whispered the sour note,
As she sat abandoned in the purple chair.

She knew he would feel their sweet music,
She had faith in the harmony and in him,
And the music would play once again,
As she sat waiting in the purple chair.

And the sour note would be found out for what it was,
For what it did,
For how it lied,
She knew the truth would fill his soul,
As she sat patiently in the purple chair.

She held tight to the melody,
To the clarity of his face and hands,
She would sell her soul to bring him back,
As she sat praying in the purple chair.

He didn’t hit her,
He didn’t shout,
He stopped the music, he stopped the art,
Leaving her with a broken heart.
As she sat waiting in the purple chair.

Saddness sapped her strenght, it made her cry,
Yet she could not let the music go,
Music is life, without it she would die,
As she sat aching in the purple chair.

He walked away,
Her world collapsed.
There was no tomorrow,
No sun to rise,
As she sat dying in the purple chair.

She ordered a drink,
She toasted the air,
She toasted to the music, she toasted to him, she whispered life was unfair,
she took her last breath, while sitting alone in the purple chair.