Naomi Shihab Nye
When they say Don’t I know you?
When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
Someone is telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
If they say We should get together
It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.
When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.
Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.
This poem is copyrighted by the poet and is included in the Healing Circles Global poetry wiki because it provides insight, nourishment, and inspiration to the hosts and participants of healing circles. We request that hosts and participants honor the poet’s copyright by not printing or sharing it in any other way. In fact, please support the poet’s work by purchasing the book in which this poem was originally published: Naomi Shihab Nye, from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems (Far Corner Books, 1995)