Five Dollar Couch

On Queen St, it announces itself:
Five Dollar Couch.

Surely, so many days in the weather
render it worthless?
Surely, the reclining garden waste
renders it worthless?
Surely, its missing cushion,
and the black backing fabric like an eyepatch
render it worthless?
Surely, 5 dollar couch,
painted in blue on one side
renders it worthless?

Is five dollars too much to pay
for its rough ribbed fabric?
its softness as you sit?

Is it too much to pay
for the dreams of a bright eyed child
sunk into the upholstery;
drained away,
drip by drip,
as you spent
another disappointed night
in front of the TV?

It fits two: a love seat,
so who did you kiss on this couch?
Did you fumble,
trembling hands hacking
through a dense jungle of cotton,
fearful of the natives,
but exhilarated by
the rare discovery?

What music has this couch heard?
Wagner?
Elvis?
Wolfgang Voigt?
Today, it looks as if it might
sing the blues.

How many times did it cradle you as you cried?
Did it cry with you?
wishing against its own frame
that it could take you
in its squat, inarticulate arms?

Would you pay five dollars for this couch?
Would you accept the Banksia flower on its lap?
or is it just an old, broken couch?
Half blind,
and worthless?

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