The Chair

My Grandmother sat in that chair
day-in, day-out, watched the boxing,
did the football pools
until eventually
she had to be helped across the room,
round corners, up stairs, into the loo.

A cosy chair right by the fire,
the heat fed the red threads in her legs
but kept her body fine and warm.

My Mum sits in that chair
now she's gone, watches TV
obliquely across the room, smokes,
knits, talks, and when she was
ill recently, the totter of her walk
and her thin limbs nearly unable without help
to rise from the velvet depths, the yielding
cushions, she became
like my Grandmother, suddenly old.

My turn will come, but by then
all income gone, the last of Dad's
benison to us all these years
withdrawn with her passing,
I will have to sell that chair
and room, the TV, the roof above, clear 
all our lives away
to pay for food and a different
kind of fabric cushioning my days, different
stitching in the hand.

A chair by the fire will be
a blessing in itself to achieve,
seat and warmth enough
to ease those days of treading,
the feet and legs from treading
my own responsibility
the white stone stair
there since I was born.
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