Happy Thanksgiving

I had the pleasure of hearing the author of this poem do a reading (see Woody Guthrie tribute).  Her accolades are many.

Mae of Mae’s Foodblog reminded me of her talent last Thanksgiving when Mae posted this poem.

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.

Source: Poetry Foundation

I am thinking about the kitchen tables in my life and those experiences.

Tearful talks about teenage angst.

Raptly listening to family stories.

Peeling vegetables for grandma’s cooking.

Reading through recipe books to collaborate on a family dinner.

I am not aware of anyone giving birth at a family table, but an ancestor’s appendix were removed on one.


I think back to those Thanksgivings at grandparents’ houses, the food that was prepared with love, and having seemingly every adult female crowded in the kitchen with just enough room for us kids to squeeze through and snag sample bites.   Those kitchen tables were piled high with food in preparation for holiday dinners.


What are the kitchen tables like in your family?


Happy Thanksgiving to all!

4 comments to Happy Thanksgiving

  • Such a fun post that brings so many memories! A funny Thanksgiving memory for me was one year when my grandmother had so many guests that she put all the children (me included) in a back room while the adults ate at a big dining table in her kitchen. We were a bit put out and thought we were being treated like second class citizens. So we decided we would eat the entire Thanksgiving dinner with our fingers. And we did! Leave it to kids! It makes me laugh now.

    • It is a rite of passage for all youngsters to experience the dreaded card table in the back room, isn’t it? I can’t remember eating with our fingers, but I do remember some shenanigans with the cousins during our exiled backroom eating experiences. 🙂 Hope you had a great day. (P.S. will be mentioning you soon as I used your butternut squash recipe for our dinner! Delish!!!)

  • mjskit

    Great post Debra! Hope you’re having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!