[from Naomi Shihab Nye's Honeybee, Harper Collins, 2008]
We want our nature to have a face.
An eye we can look into,
not like ours – clearer. Strong body
moving swiftly over land, belonging to no one.
beyond everything that burden us,
sheer motion – flash of white –
creatures with a silence
wider than our own.
There are days we wake and need an egret.
The Little Bun of Hours (excerpt)
Days that felt like sheet cakes in long silver pans
frosted or not, plenty of cake no matter who appeared,
a sift of powdered sugar, and the knife
laid casually by. Maybe a sack of French bread
broken in half. I liked the small stacked plates
on the counter, the way you drove around in a box
without going anywhere. We could send
the bears to school and write notes for them
to take home to their mothers, who were camels
and rabbits. Sometimes I looked at a clock.
When you were four, lightning cracked my brain
and I could see all the way till now, this fist of days
before you leave. It took away my sleep, my confidence,
who were we before you? . . .