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By Naomi Shihab Nye

Every few minutes, he wants

to march the trail of flattened rye grass

back to the house of muttering

hens. He too could make

a bed in hay. Yesterday the egg so fresh

it felt hot in his hand and he pressed it

to his ear while the other children

laughed and ran with a ball, leaving him,

so little yet, too forgetful in games,

ready to cry if the ball brushed him,

riveted to the secret of birds

caught up inside his fist,

not ready to give it over

to the refrigerator

or the rest of the day.


Reprinted from Fuel, published by BOA Editions by permission of the author. Copyright © 1998 by Naomi Shihab Nye, whose most recent book is A Maze Me, Harper Collins/Greenwillow, 2004.

Source: Fuel (BOA Editions Ltd., 1998)

  • Arts & Sciences
  • Living

Poet Bio

Naomi Shihab Nye
Naomi Shihab Nye’s mixed heritage—her father is Palestinian, her mother is American—shapes the subjects of her poetry. Through mostly free verse, Nye often writes about everyday life while addressing cultural issues. Nye has traveled extensively, including to the Middle East and Asia to promote goodwill through the arts. She is the Poetry Foundation's Young People's Poet Laureate. See More By This Poet

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