Have held my family;
My boys and me.
From babes slopping and slurping mush,
massaging orange sweet potato into the whorls and whirls of the
naked, unprotected wood.
To toddlers climbing on the curved wooden chairs to finger rainbows in sticky paint.
School books taking flight on homework nights,
anger indenting the soft wood with words of fury.
All the while the tall, patient bench,
Straight backed, tucked in,
waited for visitors
so she could clear her seat of cat and clutter,
Sneeze away crumbs and dust
to seat cousins,
growing fast up her spine,
shoulder to shoulder with their kin,
fingering food surreptitiously into
hungry un-mannered mouths
while parental mouths
are full of words.
it is just I who sit in this quiet morning light,
legs curled between the smooth seats,
worn elbows resting on the scrubbed, white pine
which has circled cups and conversations,
and move my pencil across paper to find poetry.