I think it was chocolate mahogany
large rounded carved ornate legs
coming down under the broad leaf table.
Grandma made the green gingham tablecloth spread across
over a protective plastic lining beneath.
Seven places for the family in the evening meal,
three generations of grandparents, parent, children,
head of the table Granddaddy sat quiet, not saying much.
At the other head, was Grandma; she would talk about the day.
Who did what when, and “lord, it is hot today.”
Mother sat in the middle of my little sister and me.
She often didn’t say much, when she did, it was measured.
My older sister sat across from me with her light brown hair,
blue eyes that never smiled.
Next to her, my brother, with his dark hair and light eyes,
glancing often to the criticism that came his way.
There was a lot of pain at the table at Grandma’s house.
The pain was from the very person who was not present.
It was a gift of my father before he left …
The sun would set in the evening over the table of love.
But it didn’t take away the darkness that no one spoke about.
© copyrighted: 2002 CMM