Poetry Friday: Fitting, Sad.

One more from Naomi Shihab Nye.


It is a good word, rolling off the tongue
no matter what language you were born with.
Use it. Learn where it begins,
the small alphabet of departure,
how long it takes to think of it,
then say it, then be heard.

Marry it. More than any golden ring,
it shines, it shines.
Wear it on every finger
till your hands dance,
touching everything easily,
letting everything easily go.

Strap it to your back like wings.
Or a kite-tail. The stream of air behind a jet.
If you are known for anything,
let it be the way you rise out of sight
when your work is finished.

Think of things that linger: leaves,
cartons and napkins, the damp smell of mold.

Think of things that disappear.

Think of what you love best,
what brings tears to your eyes.

Something that said adios to you
before you knew what it meant
or how long it was for.

Explain little, the word explains itself.
Later perhaps. Lessons following lessons,
like silence following sound.


Ms. X said...

I really like this. Apparently I also really like the word "adios," but didn't realize it until I read this poem.

teach people not books said...

yeah, i'm loving her poems lately. i can't get enough. i feel guilty for not reading as much poetry as i should have with my kids, so this month it's atwell-style lessons with my favorite poems ever as the first item on the agenda. they are actually really enjoying finding out what i love, even if they don't really agree. they liked to hear about the walt whitman gay or not debate, though. who would have guessed?