Thursday, February 23, 2012

Perhaps the World Ends Here by BY JOY HARJO

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.

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