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The night of my mother's death, I polished the dining room table, a mahogany oval split down the middle to accommodate expansion leaves. I don't know how long I polished the wood. All I know is that by the time I stopped--mainly because I was tired, my hand cramped up, and the rag was in tatters--the wood seemed like glass, and the light shining upon it made the grain appear like crepey layers of filo baked crisp and fine. Mom would have approved. Wish I'd done it years ago, when she first asked. Who would appreciate it now?


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polish

1. (verb [used with object]) to make smooth and glossy, esp. by rubbing or friction: to polish a brass doorknob.

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