Hummingbird Heart

A hummingbird’s heart / is too large for its body

Sagirah Shahid
The Drinking Gourd
Published in
2 min readMay 22, 2020


Image: flying hummingbird approaching an orange flower. The hummingbird is a mixture of light blues and greens with a purple cheek. Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash

A hummingbird’s heart
is too large for its body

it’s swift movements
a buzz, a flicker of keyhole light.

When it builds its nest
it builds it with spiderweb

and saliva, so sweet
its tongue must be marinated

in all that nectar.
How I wanted to be the one

hoisting your toddler frame upward
Hollyhock in hand, imagination pollinated

and hemming onto
the tiny bird’s modest reveal.

Image: cartoon headshot of Sagirah. She has tightly curled, near shoulder length hair, glasses, and a blue scarf around her neck. Artist credit: Hawwa Youngmark.

Sagirah Shahid is an African American Muslim arts educator, poet and performance artist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a recipient of a 2015 Loft Mentor Series Award in Poetry, a 2017 Minnesota Center for Book Arts mentorship award, and was a participant in a 2018 Twin Cities Media Alliance Our Space is Spoken For public art and performance fellowship. Sagirah‘s unique performance style has led to a variety of collaborations and performances, including performances with the Minnesota Orchestra and opening for the pop music duo Faarrow. She was one of four poets selected by the city of Minneapolis to participate in Nicollet Lanterns, a collaborative public arts project which transformed original poems into functional sculptural lanterns. Sagirah’s poetry and prose have appeared in Mizna, Paper Darts, Juked, Winter Tangerine, Pollen, Minnesota Women’s Press, Bird’s Thumb, AtlanticRock, Puerto Del Sol, and elsewhere.



Sagirah Shahid
The Drinking Gourd

Sagirah (she/her) is a Black Muslim poet from Minneapolis, MN. Follow her on Twitter:@SagirahS