The Family Table

Last week, I gave my eighth-grade class an assignment to write a poem in which an object represents their family. Here is my version.

The Family Table

It used to belong to someone else —
this table that holds our memories
Set with silver and china, it waits
like empty pages waiting to be filled
like filled scrapbooks waiting to be viewed
like a snapshot in time
A sanctuary

Whispers of love and laughter
weave strength in its mahogany frame
even as the voices of ones we’ve lost
joined a chorus of blessings
and six became ten became twenty-five became more…
growing with each added chair
A circle unbroken

Its polished surface lovingly held
babies and handmade blankets
birthday cakes and grandma’s pasta
jellybeans and holiday platters
Even beneath cloths of gold and red
it collected each moment
A treasured heirloom

And on those days when the house
is quiet and only my parents sit
at its gleaming side
it shines
reflecting a family they built
one memory
at a time



photo: mine


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