Words and Letters

by Sarah Webb

A book by the fan on a summer afternoon,
that formed me — lemonade and Swallows and Amazons,
a childhood of summer days and winter nights.

Plato warned us against reading,
such a shock to realize that’s what he meant.
I’ve always loved words,
always been a sucker for the bright, high words,
the story told with dash.
Word-men, that’s who I fall for —
forget to look at the story of their acts.

What do I think about the warnings,
no reliance on words and letters,
there’s not a teacher in all of China,
me, with my poems and my lectures on words and stories?

If I had to say, it’d be this —
anything can be a path, if you make it one.
Sometimes the moon comes right down to the water.


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