The Baltimore Sun

Naomi Shihab Nye is one of my favorite poets. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, and travels widely, an ambassador for poetry. Here she captures a lovely moment from her childhood. - Ted Kooser

"Supple Cord"

My brother, in his small white bed,

held one end.

I tugged the other

to signal I was still awake.

We could have spoken,

could have sung

to one another,

we were in the same room

for five years,

but the soft cord

with its little frayed ends

connected us

in the dark,

gave comfort

even if we had been bickering

all day.

When he fell asleep first

and his end of the cord

dropped to the floor,

I missed him terribly,

though I could hear his even breath

and we had such long and separate lives


Ted Kooser was U.S. poet laureate, 2004-06. Copyright 2005 by Naomi Shihab Nye; reprinted from "A MAZE ME," Greenwillow, 2005, by permission of the author. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

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