Naomi Shihab Nye
“Let’s be the same wound if we must bleed.
Let’s fight side by side, even if the enemy
is ourselves: I am yours, you are mine.”
—Tommy Olofsson, Sweden
I’m not interested in
who suffered the most.
I’m interested in
people getting over it.
Once when my father was a boy
a stone hit him on the head.
Hair would never grow there.
Our fingers found the tender spot
and its riddle: the boy who has fallen
stands up. A bucket of pears
in his mother’s doorway welcomes him home.
The pears are not crying.
Later his friend who threw the stone
says he was aiming at a bird.
And my father starts growing wings.
Each carries a tender spot:
something our lives forgot to give us.
A man builds a house and says,
“I am native now.”
A woman speaks to a tree in place
of her son. And olives come.
A child’s poem says,
“I don’t like wars,
they end up with monuments.”
He’s painting a bird with wings
wide enough to cover two roofs at once.
Why are we so monumentally slow?
Soldiers stalk a pharmacy:
big guns, little pills.
If you tilt your head just slightly
There’s a place in my brain
where hate won’t grow.
I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds.
Something pokes us as we sleep.
It’s late but everything comes next.
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 (Jerusalem by Naomi Shihab Nye )
Did you read them?
- King and Queen of Hearts, Philo Yan
- How can you rehabilitate us, Aftab Alam
- All Over, Edward Kofi Louis
- Haram II, Edward Kofi Louis
- Pick-Ups!, Edward Kofi Louis
- AK-47, Edward Kofi Louis
- Poem for Dwayne, Jenny Santiago
- Raschid, Edward Kofi Louis
- Cupcake capers, Roann Mendriq
- Dschamila, Edward Kofi Louis
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- At Last She Comes, Robert Louis Stevenson
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
- Heather Burns
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)