My Rock of a Tabletop


I named Gibraltar. I bid him farewell, as the prewar parquet

in my new digs up north won’t support his dense 60” girth

and custom-made Lucite base. I leave him to gaze upon

the likes of those waters from whence he came:


For 10 years he was my ultimate platform for fine dining

and the freshest of flowers, best food and drink; chess

competitions, board games, jigsaw puzzles, bank-statement

reconciliation, income-tax computation.


I’m far better off having known him and what it took to

make him: the mining, transporting, slicing, grinding,

polishing to perfection. To think that for eons an ocean

helped forge him from an ever growing mound of

pulverized limestone crystallizing and slowly rising

out of its depths, sea-life trapped within, petrifying;


while, not far away, early birds were catching

ocean-dwelling kin to his shell-housed organisms.

Pecking their way to pulsating flesh, they pulled the slippery

catch out of hiding and gobbled those tasty morsels down

like there was no tomorrow; and, in-land, a clan of

gnawing Neanderthals straddled tree stumps and boulders

they’d dragged ‘round a rock-pile, the likes of Gibraltar

in the raw atop — he, likely one of the earliest tabletops.


I hope someone lets him keep his view of sand and sea,

and on him, they enjoy the best of nature’s bounty. But if,

during some fierce hurricane, the sea should rise and engulf him,

and through that force of nature he is crushed in a great mound

of mineral and fossil, I pray that, one day, he’ll again rise

out of the  depths — a monarch of concretions, to be mined,

then be someone’s gem of a tabletop, as once he’d been mine.