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Always. Forever.
The whole of the rest of time.
That’s when I’ll miss you.

I remember, as a teenager, discovering a Pete Atkin / Clive James song that had a line about “the few good books that really count”. That struck a chord. What really counts? Since then I have written a lot, including a few books that have gone to multiple editions, but I wouldn’t be so bold as to say that any of it really counted for much, or for anything at all. But how would you judge such a thing? Am I waiting for a Nobel Prize, or an international best-seller, or what? What would show that something I had written really counted?

This week I saw somebody on Twitter post up three lines from an old poem of mine. I think it might have been a haiku that I made in response to an online daily prompt, years ago. At the time I must have thought the lines were OK, and, as you do, I posted them out there into the ether to make their own way. And I forgot about them. But here they were  again, posted up on somebody else’s timeline with my name at the bottom  – almost as if I was a real writer, and this was a real poem.  I clicked “like” and I tweeted back my pleasure that they had found, liked and reposted my lines.

They tweeted back. “Oh yes,” they said. “Had I not noticed how they tweeted those three lines each year on this same date?”

Always. Forever.
The whole of the rest of time.
That’s when I’ll miss you.

And there it was. I have no idea what this day represents, but these  lines, for them, and so now for me, too, had counted for something. Enough for that reader to draw them back, each year, on this day, to do their thing. These are the lines they have chosen to do something better, for that reader at least, than any other lines could do.

Such a small thing, perhaps. Just one person on Twitter, whom I have never met, and is on another continent on the other side of the world, almost as far from where I live as it is possible to be, calls up my three sad lines each year on this date. For me, that’s my Nobel Prize, my international best-seller. Three lines that count for something, for someone. That’s all I can ask for.

But now I feel sad, that such sad lines of mine are in somebody else’s heart.

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