She smoothed faint creases from the clean, white square,
placed it across the scarred top, hiding that corner
where the woodgrain splintered and the clumsy repair
still showed ancient traces of our grandfather’s tools.
‘I found it in the shed’ my younger sister said,
‘Had to rescue it before the clearing sale’.
Our Grandmother made scones on this table,
Leaving flour embedded in cracks. I lift the cloth to see…
I recalled other foods, shelled peas, stringed beans,
and the chop chop chopping of tiny purple onions.
Misshapen carrots, potatoes and bunches of salad greens
from garden to table, this table, their table, my sister’s table.
I then remembered another clean white square of cotton.
Standing, eyes level with the tabletop, grandmother beside me,
baby powder scents the air. How could I have forgotten
her changing the baby, clean after a bath, on the kitchen table?
My sister pours a cup of tea, serves scones, dusted with flour,
and I sit in her kitchen, gently letting the years return.
Babies grow, grandparents age, and tables have the power
to let memories be born again.