'The Throne' by Lucy Dougan | States of Poetry WA - Series Two

In crisis
I go to the local library
and do not take out
the book I find,
this one or that one first,
what matter?
Outside beside my car
sits a strange chrome and vinyl seat,
part of a vanity set,
stranded, hieratic, ruined,
like the beautiful straight-backed
low seated chair-people
of Saint-Martin-d’Ardèche.
I do the visual maths.
Will it fit behind?
– no, there, rightfully, is the seat for our grandson –
I consign its odd allure to my phone’s photo bank instead.
I sit on it only once,
open its cream frayed seat
with its tooled insignia of promise
nothing
What does it mean
for home to be a failure?
What does it mean
for other places to be a failure?
I leave the throne to its own
mise en scène, neither
desolate nor replete
were I to claim it.
There is, after all, no mirror
in front of which to place it
though I fix my hair and do my lips
before I reverse away.

Lucy Dougan

Lucy Dougan

Lucy Dougan

Lucy Dougan’s books include White Clay (Giramondo, 2007), Meanderthals (Web del Sol), and The Guardians (Giramondo, 2015), which won the WA Premier's Book Award for Poetry in 2016. She holds a PhD from UWA on representations of Naples. She currently works as Program Director for the China–Australia Writing Centre at Curtin University.