Naomi Shihab Nye
the rat with pointed teeth
makes his long way back
to the bowl of peaches.
He stands on the dining room table
sinking his tooth
drinking the pulp
of each fruity turned-up face
knowing you will read
this message and scream.
It is his only text,
to take and take in darkness,
to be gone before you awaken
and your giant feet
start creaking the floor.
Where is the mother of the rat?
The father, the shredded nest,
which breath were we taking
when the rat was born,
when he lifted his shivering snout
to rafter and rivet and stone?
I gave him the names of the devil,
seared and screeching names,
I would not enter those rooms
without a stick to guide me,
I leaned on the light, shuddering,
and the moist earth under the house,
the trailing tails of clouds,
said he was in the closet,
the drawer of candles,
his nose was a wick.
How would we live together
with our sad shoes and hideouts,
our lock on the door
and his delicate fingered paws
that could clutch and grip,
his blank slate of fur
and the pillow where we press our faces?
The bed that was a boat is sinking.
And the shores of morning loom up
lined with little shadows,
things we never wanted to be, or meet,
and all the rats are waving hello.
Naomi Shihab Nye's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Hello by Naomi Shihab Nye )
- गोजाननि खौरां, Ronjoy Brahma
- Let us believe, hasmukh amathalal
- Christmas Again, Katherine Nordhaus
- Money, Katherine Nordhaus
- Older, Frank Avon
- A question to seasons, Melikhaya Zagagana
- Languid leman, Melikhaya Zagagana
- Tweet-tweet! I Visited a Hamlet with a G.., Harindhar Reddy
- PURITY OF SNOW., Terry Collett
- What If You Had No Beliefs? NONE!, Mr. Nobody
Poem of the Day
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- On the Pulse of Morning, Maya Angelou
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
- Heather Burns
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)