A couple of years ago I read that Naomi Shihab Nye was going to be speaking at a local school that night, free, everyone welcome to attend. I zipped over and sat right in the front row of a small room and drank in everything she said and everything she read. If my favorite foods are what people call comfort food – things like potstickers, peanut butter cookies with the crisscross fork mark on top, soups simmered in a big cast iron pot – then Naomi Shihab Nye is the poetry equivalent of comfort food, but never in an anodyne or predictable way. She is a poet who begins with a thing, a real, tangible thing (and I am a writer who loves the thingness of things) and from that thing she somehow spirals a kite of words up into the air and stitches it to feelings and experience in a fearlessly human way that makes me feel more connected to the world.
– Naomi Shihab Nye
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,
the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.
What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.
A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.
My blog: alisonmcghee.com/blog