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Still Life of a Table

My grandmother’s kitchen had a Formica table. A table to gather, eat, peel carrots, drink tea. Yellow with small silver stars on the table top. Chrome chairs with yellow vinyl padding. One yellow seat back ripped and fixed with duct tape. Everything fixed with duct tape. Everything fixed by my grandmother after her husband died. Her husband, who died at forty two. Her husband who died, leaving four children to feed at that table every day. Children she’d been feeding every day but now had to also be the provider of the food. By all accounts he was a good provider. By all accounts he was  a good father. A good father who died at home, from a terrible headache, an artery that burst. A father who died and left a family bereft, holding on. They took him away and she wouldn’t let go, holding on to his hand. One of her brother’s took her hand and held it, held her at the door. Other brothers and sisters brought food over. Brought casseroles and cold cuts and pies. Casseroles that covered the small yellow table. A tableau of love and loss and family on that kitchen table, yellow with silver stars.

Photo by Rodrigo Soares on Unsplash


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