“Perhaps the World Ends Here” by Joy Harjo

During my last break, many of you emailed me to say hello and to send a favorite poem. One such email was from Jeanne M. in which she offered today’s poem. She emailed me in early December, but I didn’t see it until I returned last week. I have a strong feeling I wasn’t meant to see it until now, when the darkness around us is deep. It fills me with hope, it wraps me in sorrow, it is simply perfect–for today, for every day.

I am so grateful for this blog, and for you, gentle readers. I say often that people most in need find it when they need it most, and the same can be said for me, too. I found this poem, thanks to Jeanne, when I was most in need, when I needed it most. Thank you, Jeanne, and thank You, every day. -christy

 


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.

 

“Perhaps the World Ends Here” from The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Joy Harjo (W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 1994). Copyright © 1994 by Joy Harjo.

4 thoughts on ““Perhaps the World Ends Here” by Joy Harjo

      1. Thanks, we’re healthy. Life’s been a bit challenging for me personally because of going through a difficult spiritual awakening. But it’s a process that will one day leave me much better. So great to “see” you sharing poems again.

        Liked by 1 person

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