Hi All. Virginia (Ginny) Watts here. I am excited and honored to be a part of this new poetry collective. Poetry is good for the world and good for our souls! Sometimes people ask me what my favorite poem is or favorite poet. I have many, but one poet I read over and over again is Joy Harjo: three times the Poet Laureate of the United States. Here is one of her most famous and unforgettable works:

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. Copyright © 1994 by Joy Harjo. Used by permission of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.,

Source: The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 1994)

  • Living
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6 thoughts on “Grateful

  1. Pingback: OLD SCRATCH IS GOING! –

  2. Thank you Ginny – I am also inspired by another US poet laureate: Louise Glück’s poem Witchgrass where a blade of grass finds its power. This led me to create a visual poem where a spatula states its desire to push and stop being pushed. At open mics I like to do tribute readings where I share the writing of a writer who inspired me and then share my writing.

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  3. I must thank you for leading me to Gluck’s poem. I just read it. An unforgettable last line. An excellent idea also for open mics as I believe all writers are so inspired by other writers.


  4. Thank you Ginny for posting “Perhaps the World Ends Here” by Joy Harjo, as was previously commented, she is not read nearly enough and just a few weeks it will be National Poetry Month, so perhaps in this space we can keep posting our favorites.

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