Keepers of Words
Wallflowers by Donna Vorreyer
I heard a word today I’d never heard before—
I wondered where it had been all my life.
I welcomed it, wooed it with my pen,
let it know it was loved.
They say if you use a word three times, it’s yours.
What happens to ones that no one speaks?
Do they wait bitterly,
hollow-eyed orphans in Dickensian bedrooms,
longing for someone to say,
“yes, you . . . you’re the one”?
Or do they wait patiently, shy shadows
at the high school dance,
knowing that, given the slightest chance,
someday they’ll bloom?
I want to make room for all of them,
to be the Ellis Island of diction—
give me your tired, your poor,
your gegenshein, your zoanthropy—
all those words without a home,
come out and play—live in my poem.