Naomi Shihab Nye




For Lost and Found Brothers

Where were you in winters of snow,
what ceiling did you stare at
before the dark came home to hold your hand?
What did your mama tell you about the world?

Facts interest me less than the trailing smoke of stories.
Where were you when no one else was there?

You lived in France at the foot of mountains
with paper, with creamy white days.
You hiked railroad tracks dreaming of mirrors,
how one life reflects another, goes back and back and back.
You stood in rooms, your black eyes birds barely landed,
and learned the long river that was your voice.
Thank you, a stone thrown in, a stone quietly sinking.
Thank you, a ripple returned.
So today when you bend to sign the first page of your book
there are other things to thank too,
the days folded behind you, in your wake,
this day connected, more mirrors, more birds.

For you, brothers.
For the blood rivers invisibly harbored.
For the grandfathers who murmured the same songs.
And for the ways we know each other years before meeting,
how strangely and suddenly, on the lonely porches,
in the sleepless mouth of the night,
the sadness drops away, we move forward,
confident we were born into a large family,
our brothers cover the earth.

spoken = Susannah Wood