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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Out of Hiding

Someone said my name in the garden,

while I grew smaller
in the spreading shadow of peonies,

grew larger by my absence to another,
grew older among the ants, ancient

under the opening heads of the flowers,
new to myself, and stranger.

When I heard my name again, it sounded far,
like the name of the child next door,
or a favorite cousin visiting for the summer,

while the quiet seemed my true name,
a near and inaudible singing
born of hidden ground.

Quiet to quiet, I called back.
And the birds declared my whereabouts all morning.

~ Li-Young Lee, American poet born 1957 in Indonesia, to Chinese parents after they fled political turmoil in China

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