In case you were listening to NPR’s Thanksgiving Day programming earlier today when this poem was read over the air… Father Manny added it to his weekly newsletter message yesterday, it must be “trending.”
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.
“Perhaps the World Ends Here,” from The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, by Joy Harjo 1994
What a gift it is to be invited and share in the meal at the Table of Life and receive the full and living presence of Jesus, our Most Holy Redeemer. We are graced and blessed with life that is divine. Our hearts and souls take flight and we are lifted up. Each time we come forward, extend our hands and say “Amen,” we profess our belief in the gift afforded us; Jesus Christ. Let us rejoice and be glad in what we are given. We have much for which to be grateful.
To the community of St. Nicholas, to all our family and friends, a most joyful and blessed Thanksgiving. May God bless and keep us safe, secure and ever in His grace, care and love.