Friday, April 15, 2011

Poem in my Pocket: "Making a Fist"

More about this lovely poet
and other poem here
*Contrite expression*

          Yesterday was Poem in my Pocket Day and I was so excited about book drops and bookshelves that I forgot to carry around and give my poem away.
          So, I'm doing it today (for those of you who also forgot...wanna do it with me?).
          Here's my poem:

Making A Fist
Naomi Shihab Nye

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.



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