Letter to America by Naomi Shihab Nye

Letter to America by Naomi Shihab Nye

One Poem

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Invitation to the NSA

Feel free to scrutinize my messages. Welcome. Have fun fanning through my private thoughts on drones, the Israeli Army chopping down olive trees, endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, horrific from the get-go, and we told you so, but no one listened because there was a lot of money and oomph in it, so feel free to listen now. Bombs have no mothers. That is an insult to mothers. See what I think about Bashar Assad vs. the children of Syria, pass it on, please, or weapons in general, the George W. Bush library in Dallas which I refused to drive my mother past. I like the sense of you looking over our shoulders, lifting up the skirts of our pages, peering under my fury at how you forget Palestine again and again, forget the humble people there, never calling them the victimized innocents as you call others. You forget your promises, forget religion, Thou Shalt Not Kill, and yet you kill, in so many ways, so what do we care? You might as well see what we say.




Naomi Shihab Nye’s most recent books are The Turtle of Oman (Greenwillow), a novel for elementary readers, and Famous (Wings Press), illustrated by Lisa Desimini. Her forthcoming collection of poems is Voices in the Air (Greenwillow).

Header photo of olive tree and wall by ulleo, courtesy Pixabay. is the first online literary journal of place, publishing award-winning literature, art, editorials, and community case studies since 1998.