from The Story Chair
© Gerry Potter, 2016

In my oft' wandering imaginings there's a Liverpool/Irish pub somewhere furnished by vacant chairs. It's a proper fire-roaring pub, clean, but frayed round the edges; Saturday football five-a-side photos and snooker trophies are parked proudly on its shelves, smells distinctly of stale ale, ciggies, comedy and trauma. In this pub, if you squint and you're lucky, can just about see hovering above its vacant chairs the people once sat on them. Raining reigns outside, but indoors there's a blurring spiritual half-light, and, murmuring contentedly, the low-level high-octane spill of storytelling.


The story chair stands
outside church,
on street,
like four flowered towers with a back,
can't rest on it,
where they wait
and why they wait.

Smells like a florist's purse,
petal tender and Catholic,
invisible the loved one's sitting,
they're our kneeling and prayers.

Embedded in snap-shot,
scratches across faces,
bold white borders frame time.

Vacant chair,
no one living there,
tales made of love,
too flowery to take the weight of my brothers,
neither football or snooker enough.

Rosaries drape a beaded cabaret,
tiny notes of a song.

What good is sitting all alone?