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Naomi Shihab Nye: Two Poems

 

To Israel

Are you sleeping well?

What do you tell your children, studying history?

It was so evil, that people could herd us

and hurt us, steal our homes

and crush our children.

The whole world knows

how evil it was.

 

Conundrum

My Jewish friends are kind and gentle.

Not one of them would harm another person

even if they didn’t know that person.

I would bet on this.

 

My Arab friends are kind and gentle.

Not one of them would harm another person

even if they didn’t know that person.

I would bet on this.

They might press you to drink 45 small cups

of coffee or tea but that would be the extent of it.

 

My Jewish friends have never taken my house,

my land, pressed me into a small cell, tortured me,

killed my parents, insulted my existence,

never once, not at all.  If I have a tree, they admire it.

They don’t cut it down. Their ancestors

may have done that to mine and my ancestors

may never have recovered, but we are new people

now, and should behave as such. Try, try again.

The American way.

 

They respect me as an equal.

I have never said they should not exist.

They have never tried to erase me.

 

 

 

 

2 comments on “Naomi Shihab Nye: Two Poems

  1. Carter McKenzie
    August 26, 2014

    Thank you. Thank you for your poetry and your humanity in this world.

    Like

  2. judiwth
    July 19, 2014

    Thank you, Naomi Shihab Nye.

    Like

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