The Prose Poem

Naomi Shihab Nye


Here comes the woman who never looks up with one little girl riding her hip in a shawl and one slinking alongside. The man who fathered these babies is hard to find. He is usually sleeping with the woman he loved before this one who doesn t feel bad about it because she had him first. He is ugly but creative. He has designed buildings in town no one wants to enter because they feel heavy. The first woman says he will marry the second one sooner or later and that will be fine with her. If he says it is time. When the little girls ride a carnival car at La Feria they grip the steering wheel tightly and don t wave. All the other children circle round and round, smiling as the tiny breeze ruffles their hair. They are going on long trips, they say. But these two look grim as if they are staying in one place.