Thursday, June 3, 2010

The kitchen table....

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 under it.

It is here that children are given instructions 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.

This poem appears in poetry speaks who i am, a collection of 100 poems aimed at teens, edited by Elise Paschen. It "spoke" to me. My thoughts on the collection may be found at Lakeside Musing.


Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

This poem spoke volumes to me. I've always said I've done my best work around my kitchen table. By that I mean the development of my children and now grandchildren. The food made and served there are just a small part of the bigger picture.

JoAnn said...

Margot - I have a feeling this is a poem that speaks volumes to women of every age or stage in life - the kitchen table is such an integral part of living. I loved it!!