Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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Miller Williams decided to study biology after his college entrance exams showed that he had “absolutely no aptitude in the handling of words.” He went on to teach English for more than thirty years, wrote twelve collections of poetry, and became an inaugural poet. He died in 2015.
We have memorized America, / how it was born and who we have been and where. / In ceremonies and silence we say the words, / telling the stories, singing the old songs. / We like the places they take us. Mostly we do.