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
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” by Joy Harjo
Happy 2022. As we arrive at the end of one calendar year and greet the new, may all the tables we gather around sustain us. May we live fully, our fears transfigured by love, our hope inspired by the confidence of God’s incarnate presence today and in all the days to come.