"Annie Edelfelt with Fredrika Snygg" (1888) by Albert Edelfelt. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.

Grandmother/ i want to cause discomfort/ squeeze these angled bones/ between warmth & the side of Your armchair/ tell me i am pinching Your leg/ allow me to stay/ still/ i dream dirtied neutrals/ woven Southwestern armchair/ purchased from the Arizona cousin/ with a house/ as big as a child could imagine/ i dream even the sheet/ draped over the chair/ decades of dogs scratching dinner/ into its cushion/ tell me again/ i am stubborn/ tell me to move/ say i have grown too much/ You replaced the chair/ with another second-hand/ too narrow for our bodies/ only now/ without You here/ can i sit in this chair/ my back pressing stiff upholstery/ like You/ i lift my left leg/ to rest on the coffee table

    I have wandered so far afield from you

       muscled myself   back into your armchair   curled into your lap

    you tell me to move
                I am pinching your leg

Mary Leauna Christensen is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. She was named a 2022 Indigenous Nations Poets fellow for the inaugural In-Na-Po retreat and was selected as a returning fellow for 2023. She recently received her PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi.
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