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Keeping My Place

by Greg Grant

I still use that handpainted bookmark
	you brought me from the Orient.
Like me, it's much worse for hard use,
	the string gone, the top ripped, jagged,
bearing my name in two languages-
	one I know, one I don't.

Ten years and thousands of miles later
	it still links me to you,
and I'm flattered that in some artist's stall in the Orient
	you thought of me.

My unspoken thanks for your gift is that even now
when I use it I think of you
and how I've managed to keep my place in the world
even though you're far away.
softly, I call your name in two languages-
	one I know, one I don't.

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