Word(less)-y Wednesday

Yosemite 2013 34
Yosemite 2013 16
Yosemite 2013 48

Famous
By Naomi Shihab Nye
The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.

The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.

“Famous” from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems (Portland, Oregon: Far Corner Books, 1995). Copyright © 1995 by Naomi Shihab Nye.

One Reply to “Word(less)-y Wednesday”

  1. One of my favorite poets — used to share with my middle schoolers and they loved her as well. Gorgeous photos of Yosemite. My oldest just went and tried to drag me with him, but my tent days are long over! A cabin would be perfect.

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