One Last Poem for National Poetry Month: Last August Hours Before the Year 2000 by Naomi Shihab Nye

Picking the last poem to post during National Poetry Month has me all in a tizzy. I need to find the perfect poem (even though I have a fabulous poem ready to go for the return of Poetry Wednesday). Nothing I’ve read is quite perfect enough. So I went back through this list of poems that I called my favorite to see if there were any I hadn’t posted here. I realized as I was looking that I’ve never posted this poem by Naomi Shihab Nye. But it is one of my favorites! I can’t believe I haven’t posted it before. Enjoy. Happy National Poetry Month! I’ll now return to the regularly scheduled posts about books, poems, and random musings.

Last August Hours Before the Year 2000

by Naomi Shihab Nye

Spun silk of mercy,
long-limbed afternoon,
sun urging purple blossoms from baked stems.
What better blessing than to move without hurry
under trees?
Lugging a bucket to the rose that became a twining
house by now, roof and walls of vine —
you could live inside this rose.
Pouring a slow stream around the
ancient pineapple crowned with spiky fruit,
I thought we would feel old by the year 2000.
Walt Disney thought cars would fly.

What a drama to keep thinking the last summer
the last birthday

before the calendar turns to zeroes.
My neighbor says anything we plant in September takes hold.
She’s lining pots of little grasses by her walk.

I want to know the root goes deep
on all that came before,
you could lay a soaker hose across
your whole life and know
there was something
under layers of packed summer earth
and dry blown grass
to moisten.

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