A boy told me if he roller-skated fast enough his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him, the best reason I ever heard for trying to be a champion. What I wonder tonight pedaling hard down King William Street is if it translates to bicycles. A victory! To leave your loneliness panting behind you on some street corner while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas, pink petals that have never felt loneliness, no matter how slowly they fell.
—Naomi Shihab Nye
from Fuel: Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, 1998
BOA Editions, Rochester, NY
Copyright 1998 by Naomi Shihab Nye.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of BOA Editions from Fuel: poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, 1998.
Naomi Shihab Nye
Naomi Shihab Nye (1952- ) is the author of more than 10 poetry collections, including Everything Comes Next: Collected and New Poems (Greenwillow Books, 2020). In addition to her poetry collections, Nye has produced fiction for children, song recordings, poetry translations, and essays.