Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Making a Fist

For the first time, on the road north of Tampico,
I felt the life sliding out of me,
a drum in the desert, harder and harder to hear.
I was seven, I lay in the car
watching the palm trees swirl a sickening pattern past the glass.
My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.

"How do you know if you are going to die?"
I begged my mother.
We had been traveling for days.
With strange confidence she answered,
"When you can no longer make a fist."

Years later I smile to think of that journey,
the borders we must cross separately,
stamped with our unanswerable woes.
I who did not die, who am still living,
still lying in the backseat behind all my questions,
clenching and opening one small hand.

Naomi Shihab Nye


  1. Lovely babe and thought-provoking poem. Congrats!

  2. Oh, what an adorable pic of Baby J. And a gorgeous poem. Thanks.

    Nice to have you checking in from time to time, Marie! Hope you're getting some sleep and that the baby's schedule is more predictable.

  3. This passage was so powerful. And Baby J is so sweet.