“Books” was written in response to a prompt by @pattijcrow http://iriswoodbury.wordpress.com/
She said, “write a poem about an old wrinkled man, faced with the love of his youth, and how his heart pounds as strongly as ever yet his wrinkles inhibit his expression.” At first I thought the prompt didn’t give me enough freedom to go off on my own. But I loved the visual of the old man, and he quickly took shape in my mind. Then I knew I wanted to do it. I thought of this man who had a shack of a used book store by the side of the road. I used to go there often and I still have many books from his collection. In fact, my most prized books I bought from his place. I still have the old leather bound, gold leaf works of Tennyson and Shelley, Whittier and Milton, and countless others, each with a light penciling in the upper right corner of the title page with his choice of a price. He used to leave the books outside most times, and you could take what you want, paying with the honor system.
This poem is a true story, dedicated to this man and his memory, and what once was my favorite bookstore to visit, and now is my favorite bookstore to remember. Thanks to my friend for prompting this out of me!