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The Walking Stick

by Walt Atchison

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I've learned so much from visits to this place

So many things you've taught to me

So many things I never thought I'd learn

So many things I never thought would be

 

I've learned the words "Dobri Utra"

To greet both friendly smiles and rising sun

I've learned the words "Dobri Nocha"

When sun is set and work is done

 

I've also come to know the walking stick

And used it many times and ways

I've come to know the walking stick

Will cherish it for all my days

 

I've used the walking stick in daylight

Leaving a warm and friendly home

It aides and comforts as well at night

Through unfamiliar scenes I roam

 

I've used it in the thaw of Spring

Walking through birches on my way

Full of new and fresh and growing buds

Like friendships newly made

 

I've used it in the warmth of Summer

Through trees so full and thick

And felt the gentle evening breeze

While friends shared the walking stick

 

I've used it in the colors of Autumn

And heard the wind that stirs the leaves

And brings to mind your welcomed voices

That stirs the warmth that never leaves.

 

I've used it in the depths of Winter

While trees still wear soft white coats of winter

And in my heart I touch the warmth

Put there by our friendly dinner

 

In Sarov I've used it often

Through each and every season

While walking through this friendly town

I had no need but had a reason

 

The reason is the one word I have never learned

It's something I simply cannot say

It grabs my throat and gives me pain

It means I must go and cannot stay

 

So I've come to know the walking stick

And will use it one more time

And depart this place I've come to know

Perhaps to leave my friends behind

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