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Kids' Table

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Laying my head back, eyes closing, reminiscing, the years falling away into decades ago to the 1950s at my grandparent's grand home for Christmas. It was a gracious dining room. Noontime sun streaming in. Chair rail with deep red wallpaper, white trim. Decorating the lace clothed "Big Table" was a tallish 1870s porcelain Meissen fruit centerpiece with lovers circling the stem. Even the adults had to look around it. Grandmother "Lil" and "Mister B" were at their nouveau best. All their progeny seated in good form awaiting the traditional invocation by "Mister B". Also seated were the ones that were to be "Seen but not heard" at our side table, the "Kids' Table". Draped card tables for the dozen of us - me, my brother and sisters and cousins. Everyone all scrubbed in dresses and ties. Mine was a clip on. As expected, a milk glass got tipped. Split milk. Besides that, we kids had great fun and became friends again as we did each year. The thing of it was, none of us liked being at the "Kids' Table". We felt lesser, unworthy, subtly so. Even when I was ten, I knew there were only two ways to get to the big one: marriage or go in the army. We all wondered what it was like to be adult. After all, most of them smoked. They all had drinks. The women had figures, swishy swirls. The men wore suits like they knew how. At the "Big Table" they all talked like experts about stuff we didn't understand and they laughed loudly at Uncle Bob's jokes. As the years moved on, things would change, always do. I saw virtually all my cousins disassemble their lives too early - marriages, divorces, addictions, lost jobs, left school - beleaguered into inevitable submission. My family miraculously unscathed. But they're all gone now, "Big Table" and little table too. All that's left from the 50s is my brother, sister and me. For years, I was at the "Big Table" since my brood and I took over the Christmas tradition. The "Big Table" conversation was superficial and posing was prevalent. So one year, I put myself at the "Kids' Table". Just for fun. Yes, milk got tipped. But oh, the wonderment and hope. A meal that truly was food for the soul. Now that I'm old and looking back, with a quiet smile, mulling it, I kinda liked the "Kids' Table" better. Date Written:12/1/2018 Writing Challenge - December 2019 - I Want Christmas Poems Sponsor, Dear Heart - Wiishkobe Ode

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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Date: 12/15/2019 7:57:00 AM
Greg congratulations on your win in my Christmas writing challenge with this wonderful poem. We used to have a kids table too!
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Greg Gaul
Date: 12/15/2019 12:15:00 PM
The kid's table existed in many families. Mostly fond memories. Your comment and support is appreciated. Thank you very much.
Date: 1/23/2019 1:09:00 PM
Greg, this is a poem that went straight to my heart, as I am always at the kids' table, for I prefer it in every way, and everyone knows. Also the kids drag me there, and I am not kicking or screaming. It went onto my FAVS list. I LOVE THIS ONE!!!!!!!!
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Greg Gaul
Date: 1/24/2019 9:08:00 AM
Caren, always keep that child inside protected, it's what makes your poetry so personal and vulnerable. It's what makes you a friend.