Making A Fist
- by Naomi Shihab Nye 47We forget that we are all dead men conversing wtih dead men.
—Jorge Luis Borges
For the first time, on the road north of Tampico,
I felt the life sliding out of me,
a drum in the desert, harder and harder to hear.
I was seven, I lay in the car
watching palm trees swirl a sickening pattern past the glass.
My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.
'How do you know if you are going to die?'
I begged my mother.
We had been traveling for days.
With strange confidence she answered,
'When you can no longer make a fist.'
Years later I smile to think of that journey,
the borders we must cross separately,
stamped with our unanswerable woes.
I who did not die, who am still living,
still lying in the backseat behind all my questions,
clenching and opening one small hand.
- by Naomi Shihab Nye 38If you place a fern
under a stone
the next day it will be
as if the stone has
If you tuck the name of a loved one
under your tongue too long
without speaking it
it becomes blood
the little sucked-in breath of air
beneath your words.
No one sees
the fuel that feeds you.
Submitted by R. Joyce Heon
Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, Naomi Shihab Nye's poems collection. Naomi Shihab Nye is a classical and famous poet (12 March 1952 / St. Louis, Missouri). Share all poems of Naomi Shihab Nye.
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