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a poem for the holidays

The Art of Disappearing
 
When they say, “Don’t I know you?”
Say “no”.
When they invite you to the party
Remember what parties are like
Before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
They once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say we should get together
Say “why?”
It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees.
The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.
When someone recognizes you at the grocery store
Nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
Appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.
Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.

~ Naomi Shahib Nye

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