Laura Grace Weldon
Our table wore all its leaves all the time,
crowded by children growing up and away.
Its surface is pocked with dings, stains,
bite marks from a dog named Ginger,
the weight of 1,000 meals a year,
though its history is longer than ours.
These molecules recall
acorn-hood and germination,
remember reaching up through seasons
of drought and drench, of growth so straight
they were marked to come down.
Now this table departs for another home,
our memories its scars,
carrying what oak knows
of life after life.
Laura Grace Weldon is the author of the poetry collections Blackbird and Tending, as well as a handbook of alternative education titled Free Range Learning. She was named Ohio Poet of the Year for 2019. Her background includes teaching nonviolence workshops, writing collaborative poetry with nursing home residents, and facilitating support groups for abuse survivors. She works as a book editor and teaches community writing classes. Connect with her at lauragraceweldon.com.