Joshua Sutherland Allen

Joshua Sutherland Allen

Saturday, March 14, 2015


Pigtails frame the television screen;
Strands of curly brown hair escape their ties
And brush and tickle the tip of my nose.
Squirmy legs sprawl across my lap –
Little feet kick me in the face.

No longer a person of dignity,
My academic credentials mean nothing,
Nor does success or failure in my career.
Now I have only one purpose in my life:

I am furniture.
I am a resting place for small legs and arms;
I am a chair on which sparkling brown eyes watch TV.

All furniture – beds, bookcases, chairs, sofas –
Has limited life.
Cushions flatten and upholstery fades.
Backs and bottoms need new, ergonomic seats;
The old ones are cast off,
In dumps and in consignment auctions.

So will my term as a sitting piece end.
You will vacate my lap someday, whether soon or late.
Your foster placement with us will end,
Or you will grow older,
Not needing a lap to protect you
From whatever coldness the couch contains.

Until that time, I watch your pigtails bounce;
I protect my face as I can from your kicks.
I love you while you are with me,
And I gladly sacrifice my dignity,
My professional esteem, my degrees and accomplishments
For that highest and most valued calling:

Furniture for a four-year-old girl.


  1. Terrific and tender Joshua "I gladly sacrifice my dignity" to make a difference and nurture such innocence... With Best Wishes Scott

  2. Love it.. the voice of a rocking chair, embracing that little girl.. I remember such a child-size rocking chair my grandparents had, and I hope it's now is passing down in generations.. Dignity always bend to a higher purpose.

  3. "So will my term as a sitting piece end."..dear rocking chair, until it comes enjoy the soft and tender touch of innocence....beautiful

  4. This is a wonderful write--full of vibrancy and life--

  5. This was so lovely. It choked me up a little :)

  6. Oh Joshua, with what a big smile I read nice to see you back, I know you have been busy - and she sounds enchanting. No matter how long or short a time she is with you (and I hope for her sake it is long), she will remember your lap , a safe haven, in her turbulent little journey. Bless you! I look after foster kids too, on a respite basis, small passengers moving through my life. They take something of us when they go, all we can do is love them while they're here.

  7. Oh I love this....I adored the furniture and never wanted to leave those laps, that security and deep love.


  8. This is so sweet, Joshua!! So loving and real. Wonderful write!

  9. Yet there is more to come as grandchildren too will learn of this precious asset and sweeter too will be your memories.

  10. a comforting piece of furniture. don't worry, they will remember your worth :)

  11. This is a very touching poem. I am especially moved by the idea that she will eventually no longer need a lap to protect her....

    I do hope you will make the rounds a bit here at PU, returning visits...etc.

  12. What a wonderful act of love and caring...i hope she gets to stay safe there with you for a little while longer

  13. This is such a unique perspective and approach....from the title to the way you have described your relationship with this 4yr old. It is altogether lovely!