Bucket

By Naomi Shihab Nye

Your eyes stayed closed for days and days
after you were born.
You did not want to eat or see us.
So much work was coming,
mountains to learn.
That year we had rain
every day in June. Cars washed
into gullies. I felt lonesome without
you in my body anymore.
Someone said, take a walk around

the block
without the baby. Two blocks. Take a break.
A raggedy man drowned in the swollen
river behind our house, leaving a
fish in a bucket. What were we all
doing wrong?
Dialing the nurses at the hospital, I said
II missed them. They told me how to hold you
when you were deep
in that wordless world,
to wait until you were hungry.
Do you miss that world?
Some days it rained six inches.

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