The Young Poets of Winnipeg

scurried around a classroom papered with poems.

Even the ceiling, pink and orange quilts of phrase...

they introduced one another, perched on a tiny stage

to read their work, blessed their teacher who

encouraged them to stretch, wouldn’t let their parents

attend the reading because parents might criticize,

believed in the third and fourth eyes, the eyes in

the undersides of leaves, the polar bears a thousand miles north,

and sprouts of grass under the snow. They knew their poems

were glorious, that second-graders could write better

than third or fourth, because of what happened

on down the road, the measuring sticks

that came out of nowhere, poking and channeling

the view, the way fences broke up winter,

or driveways separated the smooth white sheets

birds wrote on with their feet.

Bibliographical info

Naomi Shihab Nye, “The Young Poets of Winnipeg” from Transfer: Poems. Copyright © 2011 by Noami Shihab Nye. Reprinted by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.

Source: Transfer: Poems (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2011)

Start here: