by Naomi Shihab Nye
Nye. Red Suitcase. Jerusalem
"Let's be the same wound if we must bleed. Let's fight side by side, even if the enemy is ourselves: lam yours, you are mine." -Tommy Olofsson, Sweden I'm not interested in who suffered the most. I'm interested in people getting over it. Once when myfather was a boy a stone hit him on the head. Hair would never grow there. Our fingers found the tender spot and its riddle: the boy who has fallen stands up. A bucket of pears in his mother's doorwaywelcomes him home. The pears are not crying. Later his friend who threw the stone says he was aiming at a bird. And my father starts growing wings. Each carries a tender spot: something our lives forgot to give us. A man builds a house and says, "I am native now." A woman speaks to a tree in place of her son. And olives come. A child's poem says, "I don't like wars, they end up with monuments." He's painting a bird with wings wide enough to cover two roofs at once. Why are we so monumentally slow? Soldiers stalk a pharmacy: big guns, little pills. If you tilt your head just slightly it's ridiculous. There's a place in my brain where hate won't grow. I touch its riddle: wind, and seeds. Something pokes us as we sleep. It's late but everything comes next.