Painted three times: midnight blue,

John Deere green,

Splattered with birthday party colors.

The smile of pride on the boy’s face that he had

Helped build it.

The girl, pleased, skipped away.

She expected people who love her to bring gifts.

The table moved from backyard to backyard

Absorbed drought and hail. Some snow.

Never complained when the puppies used it as a perch

to survey the alley.

But I

I stepped on the seat and felt the joint give

way, pushed one pound too far.

I step back to survey the damage done.

The top is warped. There is a crack that foretells doom.

The whole creation seems ready to bow

to become kindling.