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Oh, he was just angry, we tell ourselves when someone blurts out something he later apologizes for. But a word, once spoken, lingers forever; to keep peace we pretend to forget, but we never do. Strange that a spoken word can have such lasting power when words carved on stone monuments vanish in spite of all our efforts to preserve them. What we would lose persists, lodged in our minds, and what we would keep is lost to water, moths, moss.

Oh, he was just angry, we tell ourselves when someone blurts out something he later apologizes for. But a word, once spoken, lingers forever; to keep peace we pretend to forget, but we never do. Strange that a spoken word can have such lasting power when words carved on stone monuments vanish in spite of all our efforts to preserve them. What we would lose persists, lodged in our minds, and what we would keep is lost to water, moths, moss.

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