Showing posts with label kitchen table. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kitchen table. Show all posts

Friday, December 10, 2021

What can your kitchen tables tell if asked?

Poet Laureate Joy Harjo writes this poem about the kitchen table.
We didn't have a kitchen table when I was growing up because we had a very large family with my parents and seven children, but the table where we met three times a day fits this poem by Joy Harjo. 

Did you have a kitchen table where the family met for casual meals? 
I like round tables and so does my brother, Max. When he goes out to eat, he asks for a round table. What does that circle mean to us? 

When Barry and I set up housekeeping at our mountain house in 1995, I insisted we purchase a round table. I like that anyone seated there can see everyone else at the table. On a square or rectangle, it is hard to see the people at the far end on the same side where you sit. I think round tables make for better conversation. 

In the poetry classes I sometimes teach, I offer a prompt for my students. I ask them to list and describe all the tables they sat at in their lives. Of course, they only list the ones they remember and they have a good reason to remember those particular tables. 

If you are a writer or even if you are not, try doing this exercise: beginning at the earliest age you can remember, describe the tables where you usually ate at your house with your family. 
List other tables you remember and write your memories of eating at that table. You can go on and on if you have had many tables. You will be surprised how the memories will pop up in your mind. 

In Joy Harjo's poem, she writes:
"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."

What was done or said or felt around your kitchen table? What was the purpose or role played by that table?
If you are motivated to write a poem or a short prose piece, send it to me. I would really enjoy reading your work.

Hope you are enjoying this weekend. I had lunch with my sister and one of my nieces today. I also had dinner with Paige, another delightful niece. I am so blessed to have them in my life and to be able to visit with them now. 

Let me hear from you, my readers. Stay safe and healthy.