Supple Cord

By Naomi Shihab Nye b. 1952
My brother, in his small white bed,
held one end.
I tugged the other
to signal I was still awake.
We could have spoken,
could have sung
to one another,
we were in the same room
for five years,
but the soft cord
with its little frayed ends
connected us
in the dark,
gave comfort
even if we had been bickering
all day.
When he fell asleep first
and his end of the cord
dropped to the floor,
I missed him terribly,
though I could hear his even breath
and we had such long and separate lives
ahead.

Reprinted from A MAZE ME, Greenwillow, 2005, by permission of the author. Copyright Naomi Shihab Nye, whose most recent book of poetry is You and Yours, BOA Editions, Ltd., 2005.

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Poet Naomi Shihab Nye b. 1952

Subjects Home Life, Relationships, Living, Youth

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Metaphor

 Naomi Shihab Nye

Biography

Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1952. Her father was a Palestinian refugee and her mother an American of German and Swiss descent, and Nye spent her adolescence in both Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas. Her experience of both cultural difference and different cultures has influenced much of her work. Known for poetry that lends a fresh perspective to ordinary events, people, and objects, Nye has said that, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Home Life, Relationships, Living, Youth

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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