Two Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye

Green Shirt

His mother did not wash it for this,
for him to be carried dead by two friends
across the thirsty ground of Gaza.

That morning he put it on, she told him
he looked handsome, a good deep color
for a beautiful unfolding dream of a day.


What She Said

A woman on a plane said No!

We didn’t want their bombs
and guns. We didn’t want them
setting up their own camps
making their own plans
crisscrossing our mountains
dressed in combat gear.

Those helicopters scared us.

We wanted girls in school, yes,
freedom for women, always,
how can there not be freedom
for the source of life?
But more war, more battles,
more years of dead villagers
sprawled by the sides of
pine nut trees, why?
Why not the simpler things,
better schools,
better hospitals,
more plentiful food?

There would have been
other things to do.

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