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Some days words linger
just out of sight and the job is
to follow—a friendly stalker
with a butterfly net of ink and paper

Other days (this day) words are at a distance—
off adventuring without so much as a postcard
or a telegram to say when they might return

I’m older now
less frantic than before
and though I’ll be happy
(Oh, come on now, words snicker—
you’ll be ecstatic)

and though I’ll be Very Happy
at the flurry of their return
I’m better than I used to be at waiting
and wondering
what souvenirs they’ll bring this time
a sand dollar, or foreign coins,
a phrase book from a language
I’ll never be fluent in

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