Thursday, January 06, 2011

Thursday Poem - Perhaps the World Ends Here

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.

Joy Harjo

(From Reinventing the Enemy's Language)


Cindy said...

What a beautiful poem! How true, my home centers around my kitchen....and the table. It's where we come together, where we feed not only our bodies but our hearts and minds, being then ready to take on the world we leave the comfort and warmth of this "center of the home", but joyfully at day's end we return to renew ourselves once again.

Kameshwari said...

As I read the poem, twice, I managed to recall the physical images of various kitchen tables I've visited during my life. In addition to the images of past kitchen tables, emotions moved through my body.

Today, while sitting at THIS sixty year old table, I realize that I am not only being involved with all that has transpired prior to being here now, I am adding to this table.

On a more personal note, I am experiencing a transition of my relationship with the man I love. I sit alone in a hermitage, where I can reflect, write, chant, pray and eat. But it is true, here at this table, worlds beyond worlds must have come and gone.

This poem creates an opening for me to appreciate this table.

Nan said...

This is so wonderful, and so very true.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

So very true - my big table has 50 years of memories with me. Another 150 memories in England. Wish it could talk...

Anonymous said...

That is such a beautiful poem. It brought tears to my eyes.

film izle said...

very good....

corner kitchen table said...

This is so wonderful! Love it!