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  • Billy Collins

Aged Ivory

Almost the light that allows for sight.

The sight the sparrow sees and sighs, but that’s not me.

I’m not quite white, nor brown.

What I am is the lightened coffee

so your day doesn’t start so bitter.

What I am is the aged page that has been read

one thousand times;

Not by choice but by force of teacher.

That same teacher handed you a cheap folder without pockets on the first day of school

to hold writing assignments.

That folder is my color.

What I am is the scorching sand you step and settle on

as you approach the sea.

What I am is skin,

easily turned red by the scrapes as you slide sprucely down the sidewalk.

Sidewalk chalk that is beige.

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