Before You Know What Kindness Really Is

KINDNESS

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be

between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

~Naomi Shihab Nye
from The Words Under the Words: Selected Poems

********************************************************************************

The original citation is not available. Please refer to http://www.amazon.com/Words-Under-Selected-Poems-Corner/dp/0933377290

The photo came from here : http://images.yourdictionary.com/desolate

About dominic724

A former seeker starts blogging.
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Human Experience, Poetry & Free Verse and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Before You Know What Kindness Really Is

  1. anda says:

    Beautiful poem! Thank you for posting this!

  2. Pingback: From the blog “Standing in an Open Field” « Walks with Yogi

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s