Naomi Shihab Nye lives in San Antonio, Texas. Here she perfectly captures a moment in childhood that nearly all of us may remember: being too small for the games the big kids were playing, and fastening tightly upon some little thing of our own.
Boy and Egg
Every few minutes, he wants
to march the trail of flattened rye grass
back to the house of muttering
hens. He too could make
a bed in hay. Yesterday the egg so fresh
it felt hot in his hand and he pressed it
to his ear while the other children
laughed and ran with a ball, leaving him,
so little yet, too forgetful in games,
ready to cry if the ball brushed him,
riveted to the secret of birds
caught up inside his fist,
not ready to give it over
to the refrigerator
or the rest of the day.
Reprinted from "Fuel," published by BOA Editions by permission of the author. Copyright (c) 1998 by Naomi Shihab Nye, whose most recent book is "A Maze Me" Harper Collins/Greenwillow, 2004. 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 Naomi Shihab Nye:
- The Naomi Shihab Nye Page: Links to online Interviews, Recordings, Poetry, Prose, Reviews, Photos and more
Also at Virtual Grub Street by/about Ted Kooser:
- The Ted Kooser Page: Links to online Interviews, Recordings, Poetry, Prose, Reviews, Photos and more;
- American Gothic (a review of Delights and Shadows by Ted Kooser. Copper Canyon Press, 2004);
- Ted Kooser and the American Life in Poetry column;
- American Life in Poetry #107: Naomi Shihab Nye;
- American Life in Poetry #48: Walt McDonald;
- American Life in Poetry #27: Angela Shaw;
- American Life in Poetry #26: Claudia Emerson;
- American Life in Poetry #25: Rodney Torreson;
- American Life in Poetry #20: Jane Hirshfield;
- American Life in Poetry #17: Wendell Berry;
- American Life in Poetry #11: David Wagoner;
- American Life in Poetry #8: Karma Larsen;
- American Life in Poetry #4: Ruth Stone;
- More from American Life in Poetry >>>.
Also of Interest:
- Call for Submissions Page: A regularly updated listing of competitions and calls for submission of poetry, prose, visual arts, academic/professional papers and more.