Brandel France de Bravo

The Lounge Chair Does the Work

All the chairs committed to doing the work. It’s time each of us interrogates our role in this household. But no one had any questions. Only statements released like shiny foil balloons that rise in the air and tremble against the ceiling.

“As someone who is bi-positional…” started the recliner.

“As a squishy sac full of beans, I can speak to the experience of low.”

“As a seat living with prolapse, I want to acknowledge the hurt and discomfort I’ve caused actual butterflies.”

“As a straight-back, I reject the label ‘dining.’ I am so much more than a room.”

“As a gilt and velvet-covered…” All the chairs shot the throne a look, and the wheelchair left the room sighing, “I am just so exhausted.” This prompted the chairs to murmur “self-care” to one another approvingly.

The statements resumed. No one was inquisitive. Nothing required imagination. Each chair was certain it knew the other’s angle of repose. Who was accommodating, whose springs were broken. When all the chairs had finished sharing, the rocker suggested a game: “Alexa, play some music!” All the chairs began shuffling behind one another in a circle. When the music stopped, every chair was in a different place from the start, and no one was “out.”

Brandel France de Bravo is the author of Mother, Loose and Provenance. Her essays and poems have appeared in the Georgia Review, the Cincinnati Review, Gulf Coast and many other journals. After a career in public health, she teaches Compassion Cultivation Training.

Photo by Patryk Sikora


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