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Naomi Shihab Nye reads her poem, "Separation Wall".

Naomi Shihab Nye:

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Hello! I'm Naomi Shihab Nye, and I will be reading my poem, "Separation Wall", from The Tiny Journalist.

I'm reading this poem right now because it seems there are many separations and way too many walls between us in the world we're living in. What do we do?


Separation Wall

When the milk is sour,
it separates.

The next time you stop speaking,
ask yourself why you were born.

They say they are scared of us.
The nuclear bomb is scared of the cucumber.

When my mother asks me to slice cucumbers,
I feel like a normal person with fantastic dilemmas:

Do I make rounds or sticks? Shall I trim the seeds?
I ask my grandmother if there was ever a time

she felt like a normal person every day,
not in danger, and she thinks for as long

as it takes a sun to set and says, Yes.
I always feel like a normal person.

They just don't see me as one.
We would like the babies not to find out about

the failures waiting for them. I would like
them to believe on the other side of the wall

is a circus that just hasn't opened yet. Our friends,
learning how to juggle, to walk on tall poles.