Saturday, May 13, 2017

I Think Of Books Like A River Through The World

[For Fred W. Allsopp of Allsopp and Chapple (Arkansas bookshop) fame who died before I was born but whom i always wished I had met]

I think of books like a river through the world,
second hand they deem them but you know that they've
seen more than several lives

and sometimes, centuries, continents breaking apart
where they were stored or in the heart
behind battle lines, in the violet cul de sacs

of the backwater bric a brac cottages disguised
like emissaries to the future they were launched
so once upon

a Christmas favorite of a bygone year
with illustrations as limpid clear then
as cradle dreams

and brightly, gilt upon the spines and now

the gold is coming off, the pages foxed
not out of the box but come to you
in your prime with water damage, hidden sobs

like a token from a subway no one rides anymore
but here it is at your door so you get on
unaccountably late

and fated to understand things no one next to you on break
or at the automat selecting the chiffon pie
could even imagine you knew

watching the rain blow down the avenues or
your hotel coffee getting cold-
while everything around you recedes

though you can't say how 

your head, as they say
in the clouds...
and the window panes beaded with jewels

as you turn the page...

mary angela douglas 13 may 2017