Small Basket of Happiness

It would never call your name.
But it would be waiting somewhere close,
perhaps under a crushed leaf
turned from pale green to gold
with no fanfare.
You hadn’t noticed
the gathered hush
of a season’s tipping.
Shadows flowing past
before any light came up,
people whom only a few
might remember,
so much accompaniment
inside a single breeze.
All whom we loved.
In the quiet air lived
the happiness they had given.
And would still give, if only.
You would slow down a minute.
You would bend.

“Small Basket of Happiness” from Voices in the Air by Naomi Shihab Nye. Copyright © 2018 by Naomi Shihab Nye. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

This poem was originally read in the On Being episode “Poetry from the On Being Gathering.” Listen to Naomi Shihab Nye’s On Being interview, “Your Life Is a Poem.”