Poets Walk: "gifts of earth"

Poets Walk: "gifts of earth"

Location on Poets Walk Map: 62


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 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.