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Valentines

A Map of the World

by Ted Kooser



One of the ancient maps of the world

is heart-shaped, carefully drawn

and once washed with bright colors,

though the colors have faded

as you might expect feelings to fade

from a fragile old heart, the brown map

of a life. But feeling is indelible,

and longing infinite, a starburst compass

pointing in all the directions

two lovers might go, a fresh breeze

swelling their sails, the future uncharted,

still far from the edge

where the sea pours into the stars.



From his book, Valentines, 2008.

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