pretty words

in honor of national poetry month, one of my new favorite poems...

famous by naomi shihab nye

The river is famous to the fish.


The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.


The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.

The tear
is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

The idea
you carry close your bosom
is famous to your bosom.

The boot
is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.

The bent
photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and is not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

I want to
be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to
be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.

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