About the Poem
About the poet
Simon Armitage (b. 1963) burst onto the poetry scene with Zoom! in 1989 and quickly established...
A Bed and A Chair
A dress where it fell, where you snaked from it.
The slab of the bed sheet, marbled with creases.
These pillows washed up
along the strand-line. Plunder. Salvage?
The end of the world beyond its edge.
The patch of grass where we took down the tent.
A gift – the gift-wrap disturbed,
the present taken.
The quilt rolled back,
the wave not broken, always breaking.
The book left open, the page you were reading.
All on its lonesome. Itself solitary.
Hieroglyph of the detainee.
This dining chair, the four bare legs,
orphaned foal, turned to the wall.
An armchair slumps, exhausted, tired of the wait.
This highchair implores to be lifted, held.
Compare the sofa or corny settee,
the cushioned togetherness, the chummy repose.
Then pity the chair. The meal for one.
Throne of the snubbed. After the enquiry.
Hooded and bound, fully confessed.
The policeman takes off his helmet.
The consultant closes the door.
Yourself only. Sit down. A chair.
from The Unaccompanied (Faber, 2017), © Simon Armitage 2016, used by permission of the author and the publisher
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