From too many years in someone’s kitchen
And being the place for slow conversations,
elbow-to-elbow meals when company came,
For rolling out pie crust and kneading bread,
Cutting out dress patterns and chopping tomatoes
To stuff into jars for the cellar.
It was the place to open mail and pay the bills,
Write the weekly grocery list and the annual seed order,
Address Christmas cards and graduation announcements,
To write letters and obituaries, wrap gifts,
Put fresh-cut flowers in clean white vases.
Perhaps it sometimes served as a changing table
For visiting babies in need of new nappies
And a place for toddlers to perch
While they chatted with granny who was busy at the stove.
It was where an elderly couple sat
When all their work was done, their children grown
And cooking was not as complicated as it once was.
Then it was forgotten, pushed into a basement
When the old ones passed on and eventually
Into a thrift shop where I found it, took it home
Tightened its loose joints, cleaned its top and
Poured my morning coffee.