‘now find the/sign’: Table Poems

A common household object became the focus of this lesson  while studying Joy Harjo’s poem, Perhaps The World Ends Here.  The poet James Merrill once commented, ‘we understand history from the family around the table.’

Lesson Note: Harjo’s work is often autobiographical, informed by the natural world, and above all preoccupied with survival and the limitations of language.

 “I feel strongly that I have a responsibility to all the sources that I am: to all past and future ancestors, to my home country, to all places that I touch down on and that are myself, to all voices, all women, all of my tribe, all people, all earth, and beyond that to all beginnings and endings. In a strange kind of sense [writing] frees me to believe in myself, to be able to speak, to have voice, because I have to; it is my survival.” -Joy Harjo.

Ms. Ramono, 7th Grade


by Christopher D.

At this table I do homework boredom flies

around. At this table fun also floats

around here is where people gossip and

sigh and then I see a very bright

light come out of the dark now find the

sign the train stop by night.

Mrs. Turner, 6th Grade

At the Demon Table

by Johan B.

At the table we play not drive

Just play don’t close your eye

At the table we saw the fire rise

Then the world will die

At the table when moons rise we have


The Table of Life

by Darylayla H.

At my table we talk we

laugh we love I feel happy at this table

At my table I do my work

but its boring I feel tired at this table.

Board games, snacks I love spending

time at this table.

Board games are fun and crazy.

My Mother prepares dinner at this


But I feel sad at this table.

I feel happy too.

But at the end

the table of life

will always be here.

Ms. Romano, 7th Grade

Being at the Dining Table

by Tyrone Y.

At this table we talk

about school that

makes me feel good.

At this table we talk

about drama and family

in conversations.

At this table we laugh with joy and

sometimes arguments break out.

Mrs. Turner, 6th Grade

YK What Happens At The Table

by Nevaeh W.

*Yappy, laughter

*crack cracking up

*think about old times

*Joyful, Joyyyy!

*We fight sometimes

*and argue but

*it’s ok

*we think

*about then we

*were in 2, 3, 4

grade this happens




and yk this

all friends, all good vibes

when we

argue it all out


love, we still love each other

and BOOM

At this Table

by Marie B.

At this table we give

At this table we eat

At this table we talk

At this table we Black

We have to be respectivful at this table

We play games at this table

We watch videos at this table

We clean up our mess at this table

The world doesn’t end without that last

salty bite.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.