November 30*

and it becomes the time to talk,
to tell stories, to pluck the
nearly-lost tatters of history,
to mend and sew them together
fabricating, harnessing, passing on.
           and from the best part of this island
           comes the calm raspy voice of age—
           “i remember when so-and-so . . .”
           “did i ever tell you . . .”
           the tales of myriad mayhem
           (in such a small space, we are all eccentrics)
we all listen, rapt
receiving wisdom, understanding, rightness
in mere intonation and gesture.
we are not just witnesses.
. . . . .
*Copyright 2010 by Luther Allen. This poem appears in The View from Lummi Island.

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