Come to the Table

Instead of the usual Wednesday’s Guest post, today I have something to share from a wonderful poet and musician, Joy Harjo

A Facebook friend posted the poem about the table the other day, and when I read it, I thought of all of the gatherings at table that I was blessed to be part of – as a child and then later as a mother. What Joy says about the importance of table is so true. My husband and I knew that, and our family dinners were sacred. No television and nobody was excluded. And dinnertime lasted long past the last scrap of food was devoured. We sat and talked and joked and laughed, and talked some more.

Those were good times, and I firmly believe they are what made our family so strong and so connected.

Before I post the poem, I thought you might like to know a little bit about Joy Harjo. She was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a member of the Myskoke Nation. Also known as the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Her seven books of poetry includes  How We Became Human- New and Selected PoemsThe Woman Who Fell From the Sky, and She Had Some Horses. 

She is also a musician, blending jazz with Native American music as a singer and a saxophone player. Her books and her music have garnered many awards, and she is a favorite performer at numerous venues across the country.


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 ::

If you enjoyed this poem, I encourage you to visit Joy’s website where you can find out more about her and sample some of her work. Have a great HumpDay. 

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