After Camille T. Dungy
Like new, used – good condition, library copy, I always look for bookmarks.
A message in a bottle. An invitation to share a favorite passage.
Passing ideas, maybe crucial knowledge, to the future or a random act
by a harried daughter trying to put some order in her mother’s death.
Twenty five cents for the privilege of entry into a another’s passion
for history, the great novels, or an obscure author who now occupies
a place in your library of favorites. Once I discovered a book of poetry
dogeared, taped spine, scraps of paper marking pages – the best poems,
and marginalia – crisp, sharp letters in a penmanship from another era.
It was a lesson in reading poetry from some unknown master.
An inscription on the end page in a shaky but unmistakable style:
Robert, I leave these words to you. You understood, for that I am grateful.
I think about this inscription often. Was the book given to Robert?
How did it end up in the sea of used books? Will I use the last
of my strength and minutes to leave words for my own Robert?
I want to believe at the end words will be that important