Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday Poetry: Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye
Red Brocade

The Arabs used to say,
When a stranger appears at your door,
feed him for three days
before asking who he is,
where he's come from,
where he's headed.
That way, he'll have strength
enough to answer.
Or, by then you'll be
such good friends
you don't care.

Let's go back to that.
Rice? Pine nuts?
Here, take the red brocade pillow.
My child will serve water
to your horse.

No, I was not busy when you came!
I was not preparing to be busy.
That's the armor everyone put on
to pretend they had a purpose
in the world.

I refuse to be claimed.
Your plate is waiting.
We will snip fresh mint
into your tea.


At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Milligan said...

Yay, Naomi!

I delight in this poem, but don't really have much to say about it. Just a cheer at the appearance of one of the San Antonio poets. (Of the not annoying-old-white-cowboy variety that is, who all lived in a different neighborhood anyway.)


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