Naomi Shihab Nye

Breaking My Favorite Bowl

Some afternoons 
thud unexpectedly 
and split into four pieces 
on the floor.

Two large pieces, two small ones.
I could glue them back, 
but what would I use them for?

Forgive me when I answer you  
in a voice so swollen 
it won’t fit your ears.

I’m thinking about apples and histories,
the hands I broke off 
my mother’s praying statue when I was four - 
how she tearfully repaired them 
but the hairline cracks 
in the wrists 
were all she said she could see - 

the unannounced blur 
of something passing 
out of a life.