Naomi Shihab Nye




The Music Box

I don’t know who gave me this instrument,
what happened to the box that once housed
this now-bare motor…I turn the knob,
again, again, till the thing is tightly wound,
then watch the intricate wheels spin against one another
clicking out tiny metallic notes.
It is a familiar song but I couldn’t name it.
It repeats over and over, a miniature anthem
vibrating in my hand.
I feel there is something I should remember,
at least who gave it to me, but this memory has fallen away
like so many others. Sometimes I feel the mind’s
thin shavings scattering the minute they fall,
like the notes of this music-box disappearing into Monday,
even the ones that play together, the highest note,
even the pause.

spoken = Susannah Wood