A man leaves the world and the streets he lived on grow a little shorter. One more window dark in this city, the figs on his branches will soften for birds. If we stand quietly enough evenings there grows a whole company of us standing quietly together. overhead loud grackles are claiming their trees and the sky which sews and sews, tirelessly sewing, drops her purple hem. Each thing in its time, in its place, it would be nice to think the same about people. Some people do. They sleep completely, waking refreshed. Others live in two worlds, the lost and remembered. They sleep twice, once for the one who is gone, once for themselves. They dream thickly, dream double, they wake from a dream into another one, they walk the short streets calling out names, and then they answer.
Naomi Shihab Nye - 1952-
Once on a plane a woman asked me to hold her baby and disappeared. I figured it was safe, our being on a plane and all. How far could she go? She returned one hour later, having changed her clothes and washed her hair. I didn't recognize her. By this time the baby and I had examined each other's necks. We had cried a little. I had a silver bracelet and a watch. Gold studs glittered in the baby's ears. She wore a tiny white dress leafed with layers like a wedding cake. I did not want to give her back. The baby's curls coiled tightly against her scalp, another alphabet. I read new new new. My mother gets tired. I'll chew your hand. The baby left my skirt crumpled, my lap aching. Now I'm her secret guardian, the little nub of dream that rises slightly but won't come clear. As she grows, as she feels ill at ease, I'll bob my knee. What will she forget? Whom will she marry? He'd better check with me. I'll say once she flew dressed like a cake between two doilies of cloud. She could slip the card into a pocket, pull it out. Already she knew the small finger was funnier than the whole arm.