(Again, the photo has no direct relationship to the poem ... just something that caught my eye when I was out walking)
I have this thing about thrift stores.
I find it difficult to pass one without going inside.
Once there, I have trouble getting back out without buying something ... at least a book. At the very least, a book.
Aside from the story the book may have to tell, there are other stories, too ... a note on the flyleaf from the person who originally gave the book to someone else ... marginal notes, sometimes ... underlined passages ... a bookmark indicating a favorite portion ... or where the previous owner stopped reading.
All of these are dividends, I think. I'm curious about people and their reading habits. I like to "know" who the previous readers were.
Then, in this one instance, I got an extra dividend.
When I got home with my "prize," I noticed a bit of brown paper ... like a tiny piece of a grocery bag ... peeking out from the book.
I pulled it out ... and discovered ... and, well, that's what the poem's all about:
A scrap of paper
from a husky brown bag,
by the dusty book;
a frayed finger,
I LOVE YOU
but keeps its
secrets, too, like
who wrote it, and why
had she kept it
all these years?
(originally published in Midwest Poetry Review)
Today's word: secrets