Stammtisch: (German for “regulars’ table”, [ˈʃtamtɪʃ]) is an informal group meeting held on a regular basis, and also the usually large table around which the group meets.
For sale, giant linoleum table.
Shiny chrome legs with sexy kitchen curves.
Five chairs come with it, well worn but still stable
And able to support asses and backs of all sizes.
Two leaves extend the table to generous lengths,
Stretch it to infinite hospitality.
What cornucopias of kindness and Jell-o molds it has known!
What tears and lasagna?
Late nights of tequila and
mornings with endless cups of coffee.
Mornings alone before the rest of the house wakes
The table is alive with the chaos of inanimate ephemera,
Tottering piles of mail, throw-away toys
Reading material unread, waiting
Permission slips, bills, hair ties and crumbs.
Methodically excavate and allocate,
Delegate to trashcans, drawers and the gaping
mouths of children’s backpacks.
Clean the slate, push it aside, make room for a new day.
Evenings the table collects dishes and glassware at alarming rates.
Set the table, clear the table, wipe the table, repeat.
The table seats six, comfortably
but it has hosted hundreds
The table is happiest when surrounded by friends and family
It is most at ease when elbows rest on it
with glasses in hand or
Mugs drawn to pursed lips,
eyebrows knit in concentration while poems are read,
stories unwound, and people gather to solve problems
personal or political — almost always both.
The table loves children,
even with their filthy hands and skittering crayons,
spilled milk and sugar.
And children love the table too,
for there is always room for them there
and it is tall enough to hide underneath comfortably,
just in case, you ever know.
Table comes with karma in tact.
No one has been harmed, deliberately, here.
Hearts have broken,
Mourning has lay upon it.
Unyielding and stalwart,
the table accepted the depths of our grief.
This table is for sale,
up for adoption
to a good home
in need of a stammtisch.
It will be missed.