The rocking chair no longer rocked.
It stood separately
from the other burned, blackened and discarded pieces of furniture
at the end of the driveway.
hopeful of resurrection.
These remnants of people’s lives held so many secrets,
secrets absorbed deep into the woods grain.
The arms of the rocking chair were smooth,
polished from years of wear and oils.
Ingrained memories of newborn babies,
tears of joy and sorrow.
A child rocked to sleep,
Grandma knitting as her husband took his last breath.
Now the rocking chair no longer rocked.
The wind tried to give it life,
but the only thing that moved,
was the one unburned ear of the stuffed rabbit,
that sat upon it.
~ By Roxy Whalley – 2001 ~
THANKS FOR SUPPORTING THIS SITE BY ACCESSING AMAZON VIA ANY OF THE LINKS IN THE NOMAD STORE $. I’LL MAKE A SMALL PERCENTAGE ON YOUR PURCHASE AND IT WON’T COST YOU ANYTHING, EVEN IF YOU BUY SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
The story behind the poem:
I wrote this poem in 2001, after the road up Storm Mountain in Drake, Colorado, was opened to the public once again. Storm Mountain is where the Bobcat Fire had raged and burned 10,600 acres along with nineteen homes.
I drove up the dirt road out of curiosity, like many others who wanted to see the devastation for themselves. As I drove deeper into the damaged area, I noticed piles of burned and scorched belongings piled at the end of people’s driveways, waiting for some kind of pick-up.
When I saw the rocking chair with the child’s stuffed rabbit sitting on it, it tore at my heart, and I felt compelled to write this poem.
Shortly after, I joined the Glen Haven Volunteer Fire Department, and remained a volunteer fire fighter until I had to leave Glen Haven to live in Oregon for a while.