The table lies abandoned and neglected suffocating fresh blades of grass.
The blistering sun's arms chip away at the decaying paint. The only
attention it receives is from a colony of black ants which infest the
cracks and crevices. This splintered wooden table once had a life, when
it provided rest under the shadow of an umbrella made of orange tree
leaves, where grapefruit pits replaced ants and banana peels adorned the
surface like a table cloth.
We spent countless summer days sitting on this wooden table,
seats reserved for both brothers, grandpa and me. These were never
permanent, and needed periodic rotation in fear that my grandpa would
break through the center and fold us up inside. The table provided a view
of the entire backyard, beginning with the half-empty pool, to the
half-flooded surrounding concrete. From this look-out point my younger
brother surveyed his sprouting tomato plant and I could supervise my
cardboard lizard motel, which provided shelter for lost reptiles.
Beyond its significance as a surveillance tower and snack rest,
the table possessed industrial value, as the location for our kite
production line. All four of us took part in this activity each with a
designated chore. Age established the seating order, and each position
required the completion of a different task. Since age best indicated
ability, my younger brother gathered supplies, and broke a fresh piece of
wood from the volunteering orange tree, displaying its branches daily.
My other brother and I, equal in age, remained equal in responsibility.
We held together the branches in a diagonal shape, while my grandpa, far
superior in years, secured the pieces with yarn in the most aerodynamic
Our table production line continued until the surface became dull
from its frequent use, and the legs splintered from the weight imposed on
its aged back. When the sight of the dilapidated table became too
offensive for my parents to support, it was demoted from the center of
the backyard, to a hidden corner cluttered by outgrown infant chairs and
a rusted swing set. This relocation symbolized our passing of age, and
was finalized by its replacement with a new wooden table.
The orange tree umbrella has since folded up and the kite stolen by the
jealous wind, yet memories of the table are as fresh as the seeds
eternally trapped beneath the wooden panels. Seeds, that will eventually
sprout into new memories, a living remembrance of the table, even after