The Chairs That No One Sits In

We’ve had several beautiful days in a row now. Spring has FINALLY sprung in Indiana, after one of the longest winters we’ve had in awhile, so we are all very grateful for the sunshine. My husband and I sat out on the porch and listened to a baseball game last night and it got me thinking about this Billy Collins poem. How many people have chairs just waiting to be used? It’s sad that we so rarely take the time to sit and relax anymore.


The Chairs That No One Sits In


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 may not be any of my business,

but let us suppose one day

that everyone who placed those vacant chairs


on a veranda or a dock sat down in them

if only for the sake of remembering

what 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 on that day.


The woman looks up from her book.

The man takes a sip of his drink.

Then there is only 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.
–Billy Collins, Horoscopes for the Dead:  Poems