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The Chair of Light

A poem

February 25, 2009

In Jefferson's study at Monticello
you can see his red leather chair
pulled from his desk
as if waiting for him.
Attached to the end of each arm
is a gold candleholder
with a white candle.
I see him sitting there at night
with a book opened on his lap,
a glow of flame on each page.
He dozes off
and pulls each candleholder
slightly back
steering his chair
through the doorway
and into his bedroom.
Then he rises toward the skylight
and through it to the stars
holding their own candles.
William Palmer

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