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  • Writer's pictureIsabel del Rio

The Word

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Latest poem published in "Lights out", the first and last book by the best London poetry night "Until the lights go out", or as we all know it, UTLGO. It is, of course, a poem on my favourite subject: words

The Word

I have looked for a word, a single word,

among so many words, in a

book, a thousand books,

in a speech, a hundred speeches,

knowing that in my case

there is only that word and nothing else, and

to find that word I will have to look for it

all of my life…

it is a word

meant solely for me because

there is a word for each one of us, in each one

of us, mine

will be as mild as a cloud, it will shine timidly like the moon, it will have

the persistent humming of waves and the colours of

Spring, the rhythm of spheres, the shape

of a memory long lost…

and I must find it, yes,

I must find it,

among those thousands of words

that I hear and


each day,

for everything

is at stake in that single word…

I am sure that I will see it one day

in the middle of a sentence, in the virtual

language that I

deposit with an absurd sense of

confidence into

a machine, in the silence of libraries, in

the daily newspaper, on the lips

of those I have yet to meet…

yes, that word

might be mislaid in a classroom, exiled in a pub,


on a bench in the park, neglected

in an office, mistreated

in a relationship,


on a bus…

and it could be that

I will find that word

handwritten on the margins of

a book, in the middle

of a public square, on the tip

of the tongue of

a child learning to speak, floating in the air that my beloved

breathes in or out...

a word as yet unpronounced

by holy men, shushed

by those who refrain

from sharing their opinions, muffled

by those who have

no opinion, guessed at by those who are not

aware that they can have

an opinion…

and I would hope, yes, I would hope

that it is a word written

in golden characters, sculpted

in marble or

ebony, taken from

ancient scriptures, carved on the walls of a temple

or palace, sung by the

initiated or entranced…

but then, yes, but then

it may have been scribbled in a cave

or traced on the sand, it may have been


to ash and cinders, even badly

spelt and

mispronounced, perhaps

discarded as meaningless or worse...

as yet it will be one more word amongst

so very many

words, part

of an epitaph

or a goodbye, possibly

not even


of being voiced …

and, yes, and that is the one

word that

might save me, like

the promise of love, an oath, as

in the name

of a newborn, as the last

word a person might utter,

that word…

yes, that word is the word

that belongs to me, that word and no

other word, yes,

and when I finally find it, yes, when

I finally find it whenever that may be, wherever it may happen, then

that word will take my place and then, yes, it

will begin its very own search for the word that is meant

solely for it, yes, the word meant solely for me…

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