To the woman who handed over a folded note, I have enough time —on a thin slip of pinkish paper, no name or address—you’re first in mind this January 1. Where did we meet? You smiled shyly, stepped away. Do you pass that note often? Was it a singular moment? Maybe you’re a friend dropping lines when you detect a listener. And what am I? There’s a fine soup to be made of every minute. A way to stand and stir so no one catches what you’re doing. And there’s a sea of gloom so close under the skin that loves the taunt of a crisp new year. Here, this fresh morning and every to follow, cabinet of stacked white bowls, shines wide and plenty. Each square of calendar opens its hungry mouth.
by Naomi Shihab Nye
'Moment' is copyright © Naomi Shihab Nye, 2011. It is reprinted by permission of BOA Editions from Naomi Shihab Nye’s latest book of poems Transfer (BOA, 2011).
Notes from BOA Editions:
Naomi Shihab Nye, poet, essayist, anthologist, has
been a recipient of writing fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the
Guggenheim Foundation and the Witter Bynner Foundation/Library of
Congress. Author or editor of more than thirty volumes, her most recent
collection of poems, Transfer,
was published by BOA Editions, Ltd. in September of 2011, and is a
Finalist for the Helen C. Smith Memorial Award (more details here). She has read her work on National Public Radio's Prairie Home Companion. Poetry editor for The Texas Observer, Nye
has worked as a visiting writer in schools at all educational levels.
She is currently serving on the Board of Chancellors for the Academy of
American Poets. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.
You can read another poem from the collection here, learn more about Nye's work in a 2002 interview with PBS host Bill Moyers at this link, and watch her read her found poem 'One Boy Told Me' here.
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