Life Begins At the Table

This poem was posted recently by Quest Food Exchange.

It is a beautiful poem — all about how the most important things
in life begin at a 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 the 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 this table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table, and have prepared our
parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy and 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. Copyright 1994 by Joy Harjo. Reprinted by permission of
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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