Busy

“The Arabs used to say, 
When a stranger appears at your door, 
feed him for three days before asking who he is, 
where he’s come from, 
where he’s headed.

That way, he’ll have strength enough to answer. 
Or, by then you’ll be such good friends you don’t care. 
Let’s go back to that.

Rice? Pine nuts? 
Here, take the red brocade pillow. 
My child will serve water to your horse.

No, I was not busy when you came! 
I was not preparing to be busy. 
That’s the armor everyone put on 
to pretend they had a purpose in the world. 
I refuse to be claimed.

Your plate is waiting. 
We will snip fresh mint into your tea.”

~Red Brocade by Naomi Shihab Nye

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