ENGLISH MAKING A FIST BY Naomi Shihab Nye

STUDY
PLAY
For the first time, on the road north of Tampico,
I felt the life sliding out of me,
a drum in the desert, harder and harder to hear.
I was seven, I lay in the car
watching palm trees swirl a sickening pattern past the glass
she was only 7 and felt like she might be dying.
the drumming is fading away the farther they drive.
looking out the window at the trees as they drive past them
How do you know if you are going to die?"
I begged my mother.
We had been traveling for days.
With strange confidence she answered,
"When you can no longer make a fist."
after driving for days she asked her mother about death.
her mother responded when you can no longer make a fist. meaning that when you loose your strength then you will die
Years later I smile to think of that journey,the borders we must cross separately, stamped with our unanswerable woes.
remembering back on the trip.
all the things in life that you must go through.
we learn from all the decisions that we make good and bad.
I who did not die, who am still living, still lying in the backseat behind all my questions, clenching and opening one small hand
She didn't die, she lived on still feeling like that 7 year old full of questions without answers. making a fist to assure that she was strong and not dying.