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The Gatherers of Stories

for Harold Scheub

Every day I drive past The professor who walks to work, Who walked for years Through Africa, gathering Stories from the tellers In dusty villages - I know The stories repeat in his head As he walks toward a Midwestern Lecture hall where hundreds Of faces lean forward At his opening gesture As, one by one, Voices begin to speak Their stories through him, The common rhythm of walking Pacing every translated word - See how the banyan tree Has canopied the room.

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