The Head of the Table

The Head of the Table
Not too long after my father died,
I began to forget him in motion.
I did retain a picture of him sitting
at the head of the table. Writing? No.
He must have written his books in his locked office.
Once each book was almost done, my mother
went down on her hands and knees on the living room rug
and sorted index cards. My father sat
at the head of the table and bounced me on his knee.
He was a toaster, I was a slice of bread.
He popped me up and buttered me all over.

The last page of Walden tells of a strong and beautiful bug
emerging from the leaf of an old table
which had stood in a farmer’s kitchen for sixty years.
What beautiful and winged life, asks Thoreau,
may unexpectedly come forth?
A memory I thought had taken flight
has fluttered back to the table where it was born
where I now sit and write.