Poem of the Week, by Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Kindness” seared itself into my brain the first time I read it. She’s another of those poets to me, one whose name I google to see if she’s got another poem out there, one that I haven’t ever read before, let alone memorized. This particular poem makes me feel as if she’s with me throughout the day, happy in the same way, that feeling of secret love when the boiling water begins its steeping of the grounds, or the sheets and blankets are shaken out over the bed, or the sun slanting through the window makes soap bubble rainbows in the sink.


– Naomi Shihab Nye

These shriveled seeds we plant,
corn kernel, dried bean,
poke into loosened soil,
cover over with measured fingertips
These T-shirts we fold into
perfect white squares
These tortillas we slice and fry to crisp strips
This rich egg scrambled in a gray clay bowl
This bed whose covers I straighten
smoothing edges till blue quilt fits brown blanket
and nothing hangs out
This envelope I address
so the name balances like a cloud
in the center of sky
This page I type and retype
This table I dust till the scarred wood shines
This bundle of clothes I wash and hang and wash again
like flags we share, a country so close
no one needs to name it
The days are nouns: touch them
The hands are churches that worship the world.

​For more information on Naomi Shihab Nye, please click here.

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