Improv on Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Famous” For Palm Sunday


Palms --Canterbury Cathedral

Palms –Canterbury Cathedral

The bread is famous not so much to the mouth and the stomach,
(and certainly not to any loud voices)
as to the heart that remembers his love.

The cup is famous to the people of the Exodus and to
their children in faith, the Christians.

The palms are famous to the children who wave them
and the donkey is famous to the ones who remember about peace.

All of our tears, when we remember what happened to Jesus
are famous to our cheeks –
not so briefly as in the original poem
because we do this foolish thing every year, walking the street singing.

The stories about Jesus and his words –
the ones they were trying to stomp out with Roman boots and execution?
They are famous to our minds and spirits.

We want to be famous and foolish, too, because
we recognize old people and children and we always smile back at them.

We want to be famous in the way that a little church is famous

to any people who come in and sit for a while,
eat just a little bit of bread – gluten free or not — dipped in juice,
not because it is something spectacular,
but because it / we touch people’s lives, just like he did.


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