What Does This Mean To You?


Today we are picking out favorite poems from 19 Varieties of Gazelles and explaining what they mean to us. What is your favorite poem from this book? What did it mean to you?


The Clean Rinse by Naomi Shibab Nye

Each time you go through this                                                                                                      you loose a little less color

the water is less                                                                                                                               pink, blue, or gray

this is what I try to say:                                                                                                                 don’t let them wring it out of you

because they like a scratch,                                                                                                                      don’t let that apply to your neck

you are real, 100% cotton,                                                                                                             you can wrinkle, accept that as a gift

and accept these rinses,                                                                                                                        they are tedious

they will come                                                                                                                                         again and again

after awhile, you will have                                                                                                                    nothing more they can take.

To me, this poem is talking about staying true to yourself. If someone tries to change you, then each time you will become a little less of yourself until you aren’t yourself at all.  It is saying that you should say true to yourself, and even if you stumble or wrinkle sometimes, you are yourself and things will get better.


A Single Slice Reveals Them

An apple on the table

hides its seeds

so neatly under seamless skin.

But we talk and talk and talk

to let somebody 


This poem to me is aboutthe difficulties opening up yourself to the world, and how it is very easily to hide who you are and your stories within you. Yet all it takes is someone who cares about you, and suddenly you can share who you really are, and to let them in to your life. 

~Julia and Margaret

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