All the Names We Will Not Know
(for Adriana Corral)
Before dawn, trembling in air down to the old river,
circulating gently as a new season
delicate still in its softness, rustling raiment
of hopes never stitched tightly enough to any hour.
I was almost, maybe, just about, going to do that.
A girl’s thick dark hair, brushed over one shoulder
so regularly no one could imagine it not being there.
Hair as a monument. Hovering - pitched.
Beloved sister, maker of plans, main branch,
we needed you desperately, where have you gone?
Here is the sentence called No no no no no.
Come back, everything grants you your freedom,
here in the mire of too much thinking,
we drown, we drown, split by your echo.
Copyright © 2015 Naomi Shihab Nye. Used by permission of the author.
Naomi Shihab Nye
Naomi Shihab Nye gives voice to her experience as an Arab-American through poems about heritage and peace that overflow with a humanitarian spirit.
Date Published: 2015-12-03
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/all-names-we-will-not-know