By Naomi Shihab Nye
Meditations January/February 2000
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|The Arabs used to say,
When a stranger appears at your door,
feed him for three days
before asking who he is,
where heís come from,
where heís headed.
That way, heíll have strength enough
Or, by then youíll be such good friends
you donít care.
Letís go back to that.
No, I was not busy when you came!
I refuse to be claimed.
Naomi Shihab Nye lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, photographer Michael Nye, and their son. Her recent books include Fuel (poems), Habibi (a novel for teens), Sittiís Secrets (a picture book), What Have You Lost? (an anthology of poems) and The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems & Paintings from the Middle East.
Reprinted from PRAYERS FOR A THOUSAND YEARS, Blessings and Expressions of Hope for the New Millennium, edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon (editors of Earth Prayers), HarperSanFrancisco, 1999.
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