Naomi Shihab Nye
You can't be, says a Palestinian Christian
on the first feast day after Ramadan.
So, half-and-half and half-and-half.
He sells glass. He knows about broken bits,
chips. If you love Jesus you can't love
anyone else. Says he.
At his stall of blue pitchers on the Via Dolorosa,
he's sweeping. The rubbed stones
feel holy. Dusting of powdered sugar
across faces of date-stuffed mamool.
This morning we lit the slim white candles
which bend over at the waist by noon.
For once the priests weren't fighting
in the church for the best spots to stand.
As a boy, my father listened to them fight.
This is partly why he prays in no language
but his own. Why I press my lips
to every exception.
A woman opens a window—here and here and here—
placing a vase of blue flowers
on an orange cloth. I follow her.
She is making a soup from what she had left
in the bowl, the shriveled garlic and bent bean.
She is leaving nothing out.
Submitted by R. Joyce Heon
Naomi Shihab Nye's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Half-And-Half by Naomi Shihab Nye )
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
Percy Bysshe Shelley
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971)
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
- No Man Is An Island, John Donne
Poem of the Day
- Snip!, Lawrence Beck
- Today I learned that I am an orphan - Th.., Desiree Jacobsen
- To Glorify Jesus, Tom Zart
- I only scribed dirge but she killed thee.., Sir Toby Moses
- I only scribed a dirge but she killed th.., Sir Toby Moses
- Imitation., Tony Adah
- Stupid Wife, kassem oude
- Suicide Note., Tony Adah
- Everything Nothing, Ruby Honeytip
- I Lost My Heart A Time Ago, Valerie Dohren