Grandma kept it laden with five course meals for a dozen — though we were four in number — an altar to our stomachs and to her ego. She fed us well.
Grandma kept it beneath a thick plastic sheet (the spills!), a lace table cloth (the neighbors!), and a custom-made insulated pad (the heat!). She protected it well.
But now the table is mine to keep. The plastic, the lace, and the pad are gone. Come spills, come neighbors, come hot pans, I’ll take my chances. I have no time for pretense. I will not disguise the very thing I intend to protect. The grain of the wood glows beneath my plate in ancient beauty, brown and deep.
Grandma kept the table as she kept her soul. Now I will keep it as I keep mine.