[36] Ping Pong, Nicholas Godec

Today we tore down the old ping pong table
and brought in a new one.
White clouds of mold spread across
its underbelly.
The stripped nails croaked
against the old frame;
its smooth green surface, warped
from many games.

My dad coughs and labors with his breath.
It hurt my back as I struggled to carry
the decomposed table out of the room.

Then we brought in the new table,
so much easier to put together.
My dad and I worked together…
screwdrivers, wrenches, minding the washers.

We were exhilarated
as we put in the final nuts and bolts.
The table’s surface was a rich, creamy brown
with one panel lifting upward for solo play.

We hugged, looking at what we had built together.

My dad and I played a celebratory game
then…he was tired…

A few swift strokes—ping, the old table—

pong, reality.

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