electronic chairs

We don’t set an empty seat

at the table

where you should be.

Instead we laugh:

at what?

There has always been an emptiness here,

like a devoured stocking; an unfulfilled

Christmas Wish.

Pulling crackers is like

pulling teeth or pushing daisies

out of the grave of your memory.


You are at your home,

which is not mine,

was never mine,

honouring your most ancient ritual.

Stubby fingers clasp a brown bottle,

labelled with the same shade as the scarlet letters

you left on my mothers face.


Your armchair retracts electronically.

I think you told me that once?

An electric machine for a prehistoric man.

You sit in it all day

(At least I imagine:

I never knew you)

and do not think of the trail of

shattered green glass,

empty words,

that hang on the trail of years


of your paternity.


I used to ask myself: did

you know it was Christmas?


Do you hear the tones of your

loyal quintet this year?

They lost their harmonies in the

snow, years ago.

You did not come.

Their vocal chords froze.

They thawed into a collection of red,

blue, and black.

Exalting voices made bleak and dull.


I look for a second for your space at the table.

I remember, the next, your electronic chair.




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