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SOMETIMES NEVER

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Talking, we begin to find the way into
our hearts, we who knew no words,
words being a rare commodity
in those countries we left behind.

Both refugees and similarly deprived,
we marvel at the many things there
are to say: so many variations
and colors of the same thought, so

many different lengths in the words
that line up together on our tongues.
No scarcity, no rationing, no
waiting in line in order to buy

the same answer we heard each time
we asked, that one word, owned by
the state, manufactured by the state,
serving all purposes equally alike:
No, No, No, and sometimes Never.

Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the September 1998 issue of Poetry magazine

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SOMETIMES NEVER

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