Two Poems by David Sapp
When you were eight,
the card table and its chairs,
in an odd, iridescent green,
was a housewarming gift for
Bill and Thelma, in their new
split-level, Christmas, 1968.
Hours of euchre, pinochle,
a little bidge, laughter
and teachers’ war stories
slid across its surface.
At your first place, the lucky object
acted as your kitchen table.
On our first date, you shucked
and cooked sweet corn; I tossed
an avocado salad with radishes
and cashews, but we hardly ate.
I said aloud what we were thinking:
“We’re kinda nervous, aren’t we?”
We were married a year later,
and the card table came with us.
This afternoon, thirty years later,
a little bowed in the center,
a little rust and complaint
here and there in its hinges,
I fold it up and slide it into
the backseat of our daughter’s car.
A first kitchen table for her first
apartment, she’ll sit with her new
boyfriend, share a meal – be nervous.
She’ll discover love as we did.
On the day we moved across town,
we discovered applesauce on the ceiling,
the couch, on the black and white TV
where I worried over Lassie, pined
for Mouseketeer comradery and
Annette Funicello, and witnessed
the caisson carrying JFK to Arlington
moving too slowly past John and Caroline.
In our little red bungalow at the
corner of Wooster and Taylor roads,
we sat around the kitchen table eating
ham and applesauce. I savored
the soft, sweet marrow of the bone.
Someone (Was it me? It was me.)
dropped the big jar of applesauce.
Though the glass didn’t break, without
the lid, it exploded, a fruity bomb.
At five, too surprised in the aftermath,
uncertain of the appropriate emotion,
I surmised it was best to cry.
However, with everywhere applesauce
and tears erupting from Mom’s eyes,
we all decided to laugh instead.
David Sapp, writer, artist and professor, lives along the southern shore of Lake Erie in North America. A Pushcart nominee, he was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence grant and an Akron Soul Train fellowship for poetry. His poems appear widely in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. His publications include articles in the Journal of Creative Behavior; chapbooks Close to Home and Two Buddha; and a novel, Flying Over Erie.