“Being good felt like a heavy coat, so I took it off.”
― Naomi Shihab Nye
Poet Naomi Shihab Nye, was born of a Palestinian father and American mother in St. Louis. As a teen she lived in Jordan, Jerusalem and now resides in San Antonio. She has written picture books, is a songwriter and was elected as the chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2010.
Burning the Old Year
Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.
So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.
Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.
Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.