Naomi Shihab Nye
Naomi Shihab Nye Poems
"A true Arab knows how to catch a fly in his hands,"
my father would say. And he'd prove it,
cupping the buzzer instantly
while the host with the swatter stared.
In the spring our palms peeled like snakes.
True Arabs believed watermelon could heal fifty ways.
I changed these to fit the occasion.
Years before, a girl knocked,
wanted to see the Arab.
I said we didn't have one.
After that, my father told me who he was,
a good name, borrowed from the sky.
Once I said, "When we die, we ...
If you place a fern
under a stone
the next day it will be
as if the stone has
If you tuck the name of a loved one
under your tongue too long