The Old Pinewood Table

by Leyla Erenben

In the corner,
there is a table.
An old pinewood table.
lonely like it’s hollow legs,
rotting away, neglected.

On top are many layers of dust.
It’s surface like a desert for ants.
If I could shrink and walk through that desert,
what would be its temperature?
Would it be hot and musky like a real dessert?
Or would it be more of a South Pole – 
all frozen and cold?

My family watches over it, 
like a hawk spying prey, making sure the table makes no sudden moves.
We imagine what nasty things could be inside.

My mother says,  “Don’t go near that old thing!”
“It’s bound to be full of ants!” she cries.
“But wouldn’t we be able to see the ants?” I ask.
My Mother sighs and leaves me alone
with the old table.

If there are ants in that old table, 
are they walking in the desert,
like humans did?
Humans who created the desert, with all their dust?

I have grown fond of this table.
I am no longer afraid.
I eat lunch on it sometimes and think

Maybe something bigger 
created our deserts,
like an old table,
in the corner 
of the world.