Do Not Touch the Puffins
by Naomi Shihab Nye


Isle of Staffa, gleaming in sun
for whispering people who struggled up from the boat -
magic birds, their nesting pleasures.

You were still young then, your grandma not quite old.
I wanted to sit among stones
with both of you,

fixed firmly out of time in the Southern Hebrides,
absorbing burrows and beaks, sweet waddle
of black and white, their orange feet.

The puffins nuzzled our shoes curiously,
wondering what we were,
such big things with hands pressed in our jeans.





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