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Shoulders

A man crosses the street in rain,

stepping gently, looking two times north and south,

because his son is asleep on his shoulder.

No car must splash him.

No car drive too near to his shadow.

This man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo

but he’s not marked.

Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,

HANDLE WITH CARE.

His ear fills up with breathing.

He hears the hum of a boy’s dream

deep inside him.

We’re not going to be able

to live in this world

if we’re not willing to do what he’s doing

with one another.

The road will only be wide.

The rain will never stop falling.

from Red SuitcaseFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 1994
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Naomi Shihab Nye Poems

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