Perhaps the World Ends Here Joy Harjo (1951--) 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 and dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it. It is here that chickens 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. The 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. We have begun and ended at the 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 was appointed the new United States poet laureate in 2019. Born in Tusa Oklahoma in 1951. She is a member of the Musoke/Creek Nation.