"For us to feel lost       is not the worst thing"

On April 27, 2019, Nye was awarded the Lon Tinkle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Texas Institute of Letters.


We close our National Poetry Month features with a final poem generously provided exclusively for Lone Star Lit by San Antonio poet Naomi Shihab Nye. Happy Poetry Month, y’all.


Something Forgotten



This morning an Amish farmer awakens with furrowed fields


     spread ready before him       his wife stirring molasses       


        two young sons        giggling in a bedroom as they tie on their boots  


                        I wonder what the world looks like to them


   Do they feel planted at the center of a thought or somewhere out on a rim?


Thinking of the server who said every morning     I am not really a waitress


         I am a photographer         just doing this to help out a friend


Thinking of the 5th grade girl in a tiny town       Eastern Shore Maryland


    who read a poem so perfectly in Spanish     twice      to her classmates


                         each syllable rippled


       then saying she plans to be a translator      everyone clapped


  In another school     blue and pink mural in hall      WE ARE ALL WONDERS


         why such simple words brought tears    I could have stood there 


                 kids babbling around me       till the whole place emptied    



      These days there are men and women    who seem to have forgotten


                                anything humble


               For us to feel lost       is not the worst thing      


Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Her father was a Palestinian refugee and her mother an American of German and Swiss descent, and Nye spent her adolescence in both Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas. She earned her BA from Trinity University in San Antonio, where she still resides. Nye is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for her work, including a Lavan Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Carity Randall Prize, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry award, the Robert Creeley Prize, and many Pushcart Prizes. She has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and she was a Witter Bynner Fellow. From 2010 to 2015 she served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. On April 27, 2019, she was awarded the Lon Tinkle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Texas Institute of Letters.