Empty Chairs

January 6th, 2010

When I go back home, the people and places I knew are like the heat shimmers on an August road. Something you think you can touch it until you get right up on it and then it vanishes. My mother, my husband, my son, all my grandparents, my sweet cousin, all my greataunts and greatuncles. My first love. My mother and father in law. All my aunts but one. The second cousins, the spinsters and distant branches of family whose names I can’t even remember. Best friends. Boyfriends who broke my heart. Teachers. The old brick school building in the center of town. The erasers I cleaned after class. The sounds of basketball games in the gym that no longer exists. The wrist corsages and back seats. The smell of Sunday dinner and reading the funny papers in front of the fire at my grandmother’s house. Summer afternoon shadows.

One Response to “Empty Chairs”

  1. m. heart says:

    Nikki, that photo and this post reminds me so much of a watercolor my mom did of similar empty chairs. When we found it, sorting through her paintings, we were all struck by the beautiful but lonely feel in it. It's from the perspective of someone sitting in one of the chairs, but the two facing chairs are empty. Neither my brother nor I wanted it, it made us so sad, but J insisted we take it home with us. It's now sitting on top of the piano in the dining room (which is closed off until spring). I'll have to post a photo of it…I still have very mixed feelings about having it out.

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