The Heart of a Table

The Heart of a Table

The ancient wooden table.

The dining room table my family gathered at tonight to enjoy a meal together. 

But before my first bite of chicken reaches my mouth, I hear my mom tell my dad:

I need a new dinner table, Husband.

My fork involuntarily stops moving. 

I’ve heard her say this before, at almost every meal.

But that doesn’t make her comment any less sharp.


I look down at the dark wood that supports our plates and admire it. 

It’s covered in glitter, glue, and paint from my childhood crafts.

There are some scratches so deep, crumbs get stuck in between. 

I see water ring stains where my sister and I forgot to use our coasters. 

And there are bite marks on the legs from the dog. 

My dog is dead.


Memories take over my thoughts as I recall the cause of each blemish. 

Why does she want to get rid of it? 

It’s beautiful.

A silent tear falls from my eye and stains my reddened cheeks. 

I fight back a sniffle. 


Honey, are you okay?

My mom asks me, concern jams her question. 

Her eyebrows furrow into a caterpillar on her face. 

I nod.

Just thinking.

I tell her.

I pick at the food on my plate, no longer having an appetite. 


This is killing me. 

The thought of our table in a landfill or in a stranger's home.

This is killing the kindergartener who would sit at this dinner table and craft for hours. 

This is killing the homeschooler who did endless hours of schoolwork here during the lowest time of her life. 

This is killing my already dead dog who loved to leave his scratch marks in the wood from his countless attempts at counter surfing. 

This is killing the family I once knew who shared the deepest of laughs. 


Hey mom?

She looks back over at me, giving me her attention.

Can I have the table?

I ask her with a crack in my voice. 

Relief floods her eyes and her forehead wrinkles disappear, a smile spreads across her face.

Yeah, Honey, of course you can. 



17 years old



17 years old

The Voice

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