My forum post about “Wedding Cake” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Wedding Cake

Naomi Shihab Nye

Once on a plane

a woman asked me to hold her baby

and disappeared.

I figured it was safe,

our being on a plane and all.

How far could she go?

She returned one hour later

having changed her clothes

and washed her hair.

I didn’t recognize her.

By this time the baby

and I had examined

each other’s necks.

We had cried a little.

I had a silver bracelet

and a watch.

Gold studs glittered

in the baby’s ears.

She wore a tiny white dress

leafed with layers

like a wedding cake.

I did not want

to give her back.

The baby’s curls coiled tightly

against her scalp,

another alphabet.

I read new new new.

My mother gets tired.

I’ll chew your hand.

The baby left my skirt crumpled,

my lap aching.

Now I’m her secret guardian,

the little nub of dream

that rises slightly

but won’t come clear.

As she grows,

as she feels ill at ease,

I’ll bob my knee.

What will she forget?

Whom will she marry?

He’d better check with me.

I’ll say once she flew

dressed like a cake

between two doilies of cloud.

She could slip the card into a pocket,

pull it out.

Already she knew the small finger

was funnier than the whole arm.

When I read this poem it instantly caught my attention. The poems whole focus how this women was approached by a stranger to hold a baby and how this women envision the child’s life on getting married. One line that stood out to me and is a simile was the line, “She wore a tiny white dress leafed with layers like a wedding cake”. Another simile within this poem was, “I’ll say once she flew dressed like a cake between two doilies of cloud”. These two lines stood out to me as I read this poem and you can imagine this young girl in a fluffy white dress. What I found interesting is that this woman had no clue who this child was, but she instantly made a connection and become protective of her. Maybe the thought of this girl’s wedding steamed from the “tiny white dress”. Another line that caught my attention was, “Whom will she marry? He’d better check with me”. I wonder why she thinks that when or if this child gets married she needs approve from this women she met once on a plane as a little girl. This poem teaches us how quickly we can make connections with others. I really liked this poem and it was a good read.

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