Poetry Thursday: Words

You can find them in cities
on signs
and on subways
and sidewalks
and lines,
embedded in a thousand million faces.

You can find them at malls
and in books
and in mall bookstores
if you can find one extant.

You can find them in abundance
on trains
where they float in
on the clackity-clack
of the wheels on rails
through the small cracks in your attention
as you fix it on those cows,
that prairie,
that ramshackle bit of city
just outside the station.

You can pluck them from the very air around you
if you are quiet-quiet,
from the very silence itself.

You can find them anywhere
and pick them like daisies
or trace them like stars
or gather them like truffles
if you are French
and have a pig handy.

You can even
(god help you)
farm them like salmon.

But words
will never come to you:

You must go to them.

Visit. Talk. Sift. Watch.

Surround yourself with stories
and songs
and all the thoughts-out-loud
and truths told softly
and million-thousand words
channeled from places we can't name
through voices made fine
by work
and love
and attention.

And if one or two
call out
while you are on your way,
be ready to catch them
and rearrange them
and send them on their way
to the next passerby.


Image by ktylerconk via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.