Historic Preservation II by John Moessner

Rain colors the joints of an oak coffee table
set on the strip of grass between road
and sidewalk. Ethan Allen, hero

of a revolution, sits burned into its belly.
The nicks and small dents of dropped mugs,
or the rings from sweaty glasses, all highlighted

by the humid shower and the drying, noon sun.
One might hesitate to get rid of an heirloom,
especially if you can recall each mark made.

It’s better if it’s picked up quickly, some family
loading it into the back of a van, putting the youngest
on their lap to make it fit, pretending all those
scratches and familiar blemishes are theirs.

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