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Supple Cord

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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.
Source: 2005
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Supple Cord

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