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.