words are like pebbles

each one smoothed and rounded  

by time and the constant

grinding of one on another


each with its own

particular shape, texture, tone


see or rather hear

how they all cluster together

in a raucous rabble


how as waves of life

break on them

they jostle, they babble


and see too how as time’s tide

works them and wears them

they infinitesimally change


yet bear on their bodies

the strange marks of the past