Naomi Shihab Nye




Madison Street

Smoke from the chimney on the next roof.

A chicken loose in the street
I carry it to the man next door who chops the wood
and he strokes its orange head.

Wife protests    don’t put that chicken in this yard
but he is already tearing the bread into tiny squares

I want to remember everything    the plump gray doves
lining up under the eaves    the way I sat at my desk all day
and the grandmother passed with her shopping cart
and the grandfather passed with his basket of clothes

The street a hundred years old    I tell myself
I am young    I was not here when all this started
still there is some larger belonging    leaves falling
I could have planted those trees


spoken = Ayelet Firstenberg