Between Tables

by Laurie Klein

Card tables. Retro dinettes,
a gateleg antique—all the storied
tastes of home amid holiday
squabbles: Do you ever wonder . . .

Was the first table volcanic,
hell-hot magma, hardened to stone,
and set for three in the garden,
later forbidden? Never forgotten.

What is it with mealtimes
and families, at war? King David’s
al fresco lunch, per God’s
invitation, meant feasting his foes.

And Mary, chosen host
for the holiest DNA of all time,
presided in peace—though
beset by tiny elbows and heels. Did she

foresee one Gentile mother’s plea
in the name of crumbs
for the hungry—who argued
for every outsider’s worth

to be reclaimed? Love, pull out
another chair, healing what seethes
among and within us. Bid us
re-enter the dear, collective Amen.


Laurie Klein is the author of House of 49 Doors: entries in a life (Poeima/Cascade, 2024)


Photography by Kenneth Godoy

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