‘They both wash away and/ become remade’: At Table

A common household object became the focus for this lesson,  while studying Joy Harjo’s poem, Perhaps The World Ends Here.

Lesson Note: Harjo once commented, “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.” Her work is often autobiographical, informed by the natural world, and above all preoccupied with survival and the limitations of language.

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
Group 2

Samyrah M.

The Story begins at the kitchen table. No
matter what we eat here to have memories.

family begins here where the food is prepared and
consumed. This will always be part of the story.

We tell the babies to eat their food or no
desert. Shout at one another or sit correctly.

Pray for our loved ones who have passed
and wish them the very best. Told how to
be a lady when eating at the table.

This table where we learned to walk and
talk. Where tears and love is made.

We create and destroy things at this
table. But this story will never end at
this kitchen table.

Anthony A.

We make men at it, we make women

At what?
The place where you first ate
The place where you blew your first candles out
The place that is a place
To say this table is as sturdy as an ox isn’t
an understatement.

Dark brown mahogany complements the
Warriors that sit at it
And fest like beast
For this is a TABLE and nothing less.

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
Group 1

Johana V.

The world beings at the kitchen table where
all the family gathers and have a joyful

We talk every time we get together
and talk about the past our memories,
we make plans, we laugh, and have
a good time.

We all have positive thoughts about
life and hope the best for each-

I see big things coming into our
lives, our goals and all we wished for…

Evelyn O.

We eat at this table
We celebrate at this table
We laugh at this table
We cry at this table
We think at this table
We argue at this table
We get angry at this table
We smile at this table
We do everything at this table
No matter what happens
at the end of the day we are all at
the table.

Jose A.

The table is where everyone gathers up
and enjoy the meal that we have

the table is what makes us thankful for what
we have

The table is what makes us a better and
stronger family

But sometimes the tables makes the family
fall apart

The Lunch Table
Leonardo N.

The Table I spend most of my day ones
The table I watched get older as I did
The table where a lot of stuff happened
The table we threw food across
The table we lost.

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
Group 3

Kitchen Table
Marcella P.

The kitchen table has become one of us.
It experiences the love we provide.
The anger. The frustration. The happiness.
It began with new discussions, arguments, people.
It has heard about new schools, gossip, family.
The table held gatherings, relatives, delicious food.
But most of all, it held our secrets and emotions.
So, perhaps it isn’t just a table after all.
It will end with this family, and will begin again,
with another.

Valentin V.

The food. The birthday parties.
The family arguments. the parent
argument. The loneliness. The disappointment.
The lectures. The lessons from our parents.
The high school lectures. The family
love. The table breaks. the family
breaks. They both wash away and
become remade.

the table
Edgar C.

This place here for an hour or-less you are
disconnected from the world and just focused on
communicating with those around you. The conversation
lost hours and you don’t even know it. You go as far as
talking about your day or debating about some random
topic, you might even get into a fierce argument but
get over it at the dinner table.





“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.