Rebirth of the Liberty Floral

Rebirth of the Liberty Floral

Left curbside, its bones speak to the treasure hunter,
a woman with a sixth sense for cast offs,
discarded skins pregnant with possibility,
in need of paint or love
to transform them and reveal new life.

The rejected chesterfield sofa, a coffee-stained
liberty floral with deep gashes on the left seat,
could be a comfortable nest. It needs recovering,
of course, but the woman is good with projects,
especially free ones, and so singlehandedly
wrestles the beast into her husband’s pickup truck.

In her spare room, awaiting upholstery decisions,
the sofa sits expectantly, awaiting rebirth.
Deliveries arrive and pile up:
nail guns, tack strips, bolts of fabric.
The couch warms to the comfort of a home.
Under the padding, deep within its bowels,
painstakingly hand-tied coils hide another,
slowly unraveling.

The sofa’s unexpected offspring slithers forth
after coffee one morning,
a four-foot boa constrictor
splayed out across the armrests,
staking his claim.
Her carefree days of curb collecting
splatter to the ground with the mug.

Spurring the rightful owner
curbside, along with his possessions,
she leaves them to bask in the warmth of freedom,
waits for the sun to erase the shudder that has crept
under her skin, a sudden fear of sofas and trash day.

The snake, on the other hand,
feels nothing but hunger.