Words Coming Back

the old sharp-ridged hills i’ve watched
when i come down to view this lake
give off in spring a smell of farm garlic
as west wind blows almost non-stop

at first i do not smell these things
i left them just last year behind
when i come back in spring the ripened
works of winter cause them to smell again

whatever i left the last time here
never went so very far
just sunk into the earth a spell
and comes back to me this year

springing magic springs up in my mind
in this place i’ve spent so much time
the lake, the coots, eel grass, scraggly oak–
memories carry the words i spoke

i may have spoken ecstasy without words intact
but i always know when i come near
though words can’t easily reappear
i know their sound and welcome them back

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