Morning Song

For Janna

The tiny journalist
will tell us what she sees.

Document the moves, the dust,
soldiers blocking the road.

Yes, she knows how to take a picture
with her phone. Holds it high

like a balloon. Yes, she would
prefer to dance and play,

would prefer the world
to be pink. It is her job to say

what she sees, what is happening.
From her vantage point everything

is huge—but don’t look down on her.
She’s bigger than you are.

If you stomp her garden
each leaf expands its view.

Don’t hide what you do.
She sees you at 2 a.m. adjusting your

impenetrable vest.
What could she have

that you want? Her treasures,
the shiny buttons her grandmother loved.

Her cousin, her uncle.
There might have been a shirt . . .

The tiny journalist notices
action on far away roads

farther even than the next village.
She takes counsel from bugs so

puffs of dust find her first.
Could that be a friend?

They pretended not to see us.
They came at night with weapons.

What was our crime? That we liked
respect as they do? That we have pride?

She stares through a hole in the fence,
barricade of words and wire,

feels the rising fire
before anyone strikes a match.

She has a better idea.

From The Tiny Journalist. Copyright © 2019 by Naomi Shihab Nye. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd.