Naomi Shihab Nye is one of my favorite poets. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, and travels widely, an ambassador for poetry. Here she captures a lovely moment from her childhood.
My brother, in his small white bed,
held one end.
I tugged the other
to signal I was still awake.
We could have spoken,
could have sung
to one another,
we were in the same room
for five years,
but the soft cord
with its little frayed ends
in the dark,
even if we had been bickering
When he fell asleep first
and his end of the cord
dropped to the floor,
I missed him terribly,
though I could hear his even breath
and we had such long and separate lives
Reprinted from "A MAZE ME," Greenwillow, 2005, by permission of the author. Copyright (c) Naomi Shihab Nye, whose most recent book of poetry is "You and Yours," BOA Editions, Ltd., 2005. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.
Also at Virtual Grub Street by/about Ted Kooser:
- The Ted Kooser Page: Links to online Interviews, Recordings, Poetry, Prose, Reviews, Photos and more;
- Ted Kooser and the American Life in Poetry column;
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- American Life in Poetry #81: Tess Gallagher;
- American Life in Poetry #70: Sharon Olds;
- American Life in Poetry #68: Wendell Berry;
- American Life in Poetry #51: Jim Harrison;
- American Life in Poetry #30: Naomi Shihab Nye;
- American Life in Poetry #26: Claudia Emerson;
- American Life in Poetry #11: David Wagoner;
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