“Perhaps the World Ends Here”
By Joy Harjo
The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter
what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared,
set on the table. So it has been since creation
and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies
teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees
It is here that children are given instruction on
what it means to be human. We make men at
it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the
ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their
arms around our children. They laugh with us
at our poor falling-down selves and as we put
ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an
umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a
place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place
to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have
prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We
pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table,
while we are laughing and crying, eating of the
last sweet bite.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
This year I will not share Thanksgiving with my big kids. They are too far away...in New York State and Israel. I've been feeling sad about it for the last few days. I miss them intensely. I can't wait for Jonathan to get home in three weeks. I long for lengthy times around the table, coffee in our mugs, talking, laughing, hearing stories. I can't wait for Erin and Luke to be here at Christmas time, to cook together and sit some more around the table, telling stories, laughing, loving. As I was contemplating not spending tomorrow with the big kids, I decided to put together a little book for Erin and Luke with Thanksgiving history, pictures of our family, hymns, psalms , and poems. I love the poem below. The world in our home does seem at times to begin at the kitchen table....