First day of spring
I step onto the front porch
to greet the stranger who has come
to retrieve my old sofa. Free,
I’d said on social media, resisting
the urge to add, to a good home.
When I ask if he’ll use the sofa
in his house, he hesitates.
“For a friend,” he says in an
inflection that prickles my brain
with stereotypes about people
with such accents.
I may be giving my longtime
furniture friend to someone out
to make a buck, my brain jabbers,
rather than to, say, a woman who’d
also asked for it online—
a woman, I imagine, who might
have settled the sofa into her life,
put her children on it, maybe a pet
or two, watched TV programs
in languages both familiar and new.
But I chose the first person who said
he’d come get it, thinking that was fair—
he’d asked first—before I remembered
that nothing this week is fair, especially
an indiscriminate virus seeking hosts
anywhere it can.
But then, I thought, maybe the man
with the accent needs the money.
Maybe selling my castoff will help
feed his family. Maybe he will
give it to a friend.
I wanted to ask, but instead,
at my urging, he climbed into the bed
of the pickup so I could take a picture
of him and the younger man who came, too—
the one with more facility in the language
I think of as mine—the two of them,
sitting on what had been my sofa,
And as the truck rolled away a distant
era of my life, I turned to go back
in the house, looking up at the trellis
over the driveway. There, just today,
the first bursts of purple—baby wisteria
making its way into the world.
In two weeks,
the blossoms will disappear,
the trellis awash in bright green leaves
that will last, I hope, all the way
to the end of summer.