'T.S. Eliot's couch' by Louise Nicholas | States of Poetry SA - Series Two

T.S. Eliot's couch
There was once a couch in the Grolier Poetry Bookshop
in Cambridge where T.S. Eliot snoozed.


Send out scouts to track it down and when they do,
stand two strong men, one at each end.
Let them count and on the shout of three

lift it from the place where it has lain
all these years and, with a small boy
to clear its course, carry it to the truck.

Let them secure it with silken cords and waving
like rock stars, escort it down Massachusetts Avenue,
the boy in the cabin come along for the ride.

When they reach the shop where once it nursed
the injured egos and lost lexicons of poets past,
(both the full-of-form and the sadly slight)

let there be a park directly in front, shopkeeper Carol
smiling beside the door flung wide and, behind her,
if you care to climb the stacks, poets A–Z –

among them, propped up by Eberhardt
on one side and Emerson on the other,
Eliot, catching a cat-nap between browsers.

With the reverence due a hallowed relic,
let the two strong men return it to its corner alcove
and with a cold beer apiece, watch

as the small boy, staking first claim on new life,
leaps about on its cushions,
sends dust motes to write on the air like smoke.



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