Young Burne-Jones and William Morris
rented rooms in Red Lion Square
near their mentor, Rossetti.
They wanted to furnish their rooms
in the spirit of the Pre-Raphaelite movement.
Not for them
Stick-back kitchen chairs
Beechwood Swing Rockers,
Bentwood, Windsor and the Sheraton style.
Morris designed tall backed chairs
made from deal at Tommy Baker's cabinet shop
on Christopher Street.
I imagine Burne-Jones bringing to life
the brave Sir Galahad
the knight who had no equal,
painting the back of a medieval chair
from images of Morris' poems.
And Rossetti coming to visit,
taking up a brush for amusement,
painting the unfaithful Gwendolen
of the golden hair.
Morris kept the kettle boiling on the hob
poured cups of tea,
chatting with his companions,
not dreaming the chairs would reside one day
in America's Delaware Museum.
What would they have thought of chairs
made of Malaysia's rainforests
and plastic chairs from China
pressed out in their millions.