To Reading

I scratched my beard while I reached
for a book high on a shelf. My thoughts
drifted to the bookcase in my room
when I was a young boy.

It was two shelves high made out of
thin plywood, painted a glossy gray.
The shelves were filled with Tom
Swift Jr. and the Hardy Boys. And a
lot of other important stuff, too.

New books have that special smell.
National Geographic smells great, too.
To fan the pages of a new book is
titillating to be sure.

In those pages, time and time again,
I have loved and been loved. Be gentle
with that book!

A torn page is like a broken heart; you
can patch it up, but it is never the same
again. Books give and give. They’re
not like people.

Copyright © 2013 Alan L. Slaff, selected from
“The Boy in the Mirror (2nd Edition)”

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