The spoons were your grandparent’s,
So were the knives;
They washed them and ate with them all of their lives.
Departing this life,
They left an estate,
That’s why these utensils are set by your plate.
Your plate, these white plates,
Were bought by your Dad,
When we had all that money, the best job that he’d had;
The spoons that we use
To serve gravy and rice,
Came to me from Aunt Julia; they’re worn but they’re nice.
From Pop’s iron stewpot
Came my old wooden spoon,
The sifter, a gift from my sister, the loon,
And even the tablecloth,
Stained and so thin,
Was embroidered by Betty, my dearest of kin.
All these things to make households,
Handed silently down,
We don’t often think how they’re memory-bound,
How each slice in the cutting board
Was incised by Pa’s hands,
How the linens and laces came down through the clans,
How the candy dish lid
Got its crack from that man,
Who stopped by every Christmas with presents for Anne,
She cut off all the bows with her scissors and ran;
Yet she finally accepted his ring for her hand,
When she learned how the ring was his grandmother’s band.