Some of you may have seen today's poem before ... when it was originally published ... or later here on "Chosen Words." Sorry about that, but I think it might be worth a second look.
It all began when ...
There was a lull in the festivities at my high school class reunion, class of ... let's just say we graduated somewhere in the previous century ... and Floyd was saying, "You know what I remember about you?"
Uh-oh. I braced myself and allowed as how I didn't have the foggiest notion of what he remembered.
"During study hall, you'd go to that big dictionary at the east windows, and I'd swear you were standing there, just reading it for pleasure," he said.
That's right! I remembered that, too.
It was a huge dictionary. I would go to it to unlock the mystery of some new word I'd encountered ... then I'd get sidetracked. There were so many other words I was curious about ... so many other avenues to explore.
I can't imagine how much time I must have spent with that book. Oh, what great times those were!
My reverie was interrupted.
Floyd was saying, "As a matter of fact, you introduced me to the word 'laconic'. I'll never forget that."
Well, I had certainly forgotten. That didn't even ring the teeniest of bells. But I was intrigued by the fact that he had remembered "laconic" all those years. The wheels started turning. In coming weeks and months, I thought about Floyd's comment. A lot.
It wouldn't turn me loose. It released its grip slightly when I finally sat down and wrote "Howdy!" ... and a little more when it was accepted for publication.
The moral (I suppose): Words you've planted with someone, years and years ago, may come back to haunt you. But then you have material for another poem, right?
The poem goes something like this:
I grew up
wanting to be laconic,
because my models
were mostly Saturday
Their voices were
I dreamed of my own
young voice becoming
like theirs, joining
those deep voices,
saying deep things.
Tried it. Liked it.
Some. Found it lonely,
though, on those long
rides between words.
(originally published in The Christian Science Monitor)
Today's word: laconic