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Detail from Zoe Cromwell, Untitled, acrylic on canvas, 2013

Poem: Gaza Is Not Far Away

Naomi Shihab Nye

  • Kati Short

    Thank you Ms. Nye for sharing "Gaza Is Not Far Away." You have become my newest favorite poet. I love it that your poetry is accessible but has the capacity to get under one's skin and itch till we think about it over and over and really want to share with everyone. This would have been a perfect "poem in my pocket."

“Gaza is not far away.” —Dr. Luke Peterson

It’s in your cuffs.
The cup you just drank from.
Empty bucket outside your back door with an inch of rain in it.
Sack of mulch to scatter on your winter beds.
Do you see these things as luxury?
It’s the crosswalk kids march in.
Mama with her yellow belt
waving them through. It’s rules.
It’s everything you keep a long time
in your refrigerator – pickles, tonic, apple butter.
Butter. The fact you have a refrigerator
and power to run it all day long.
Gaza might like that.

Zoe Cromwell, Untitled, acrylic on canvas, 2013

Zoe Cromwell, Untitled, acrylic on canvas, 2013 Artwork used by permission of the artist
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Contributed By photo of Naomi Shihab Nye Naomi Shihab Nye

A prominent Arab-American poet, Naomi Shihab Nye lives in San Antonio, Texas. Born in 1952 in St. Louis, Missouri, to a Palestinian father and an American mother, Nye has always belonged to more than one culture.

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