the red chair

this morning i sat you in your red chair.
you were wobbly, but that proud huge smile when you stayed up by yourself eased my worry of you falling.
i went about my day and i came every time that you cried out.
you played with your toes, i worked, we took so many moments of being together.
you on your red chair, i by your side.

this afternoon you climbed onto your red chair.
you are starting to fit it pretty well, you can get on and off on your own. “no me” you say when i try to help.
i went about my day and i came every time that you called for me.
you played with your cars, i worked, we took some moments of being together.
you on your red chair, i by your side.

this evening you sat down on your red chair.
your feet swinging, your toes scraping the ground. i no longer even offer to help you, but you still want me around.
i went about my day and i listened just in case you called.
you read your book, i worked, we took just a few moments of being together.
you on your red chair, i by your side.

tonight you did not sit down on your red chair.
you were too big you said, the chair too small. you would break it you said, i asked you to please sit just one more time.
this time i did not go about my day, i listened to every word you gave me.
i poked fun at your hobbies, you gave me small grins. i said that i love you, you said that you knew.
you on your red chair, i by your side.

the next morning your red chair was empty.
it is now tattered, worn and cracked. it now looks so incredibly small and fragile. it now looks lonely and sad.
i tried to go about my day, but your red chair kept calling me back.
you were not here, i was alone.
your empty red chair and i by its side.

inspired by this photo from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

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