I was conceived inside my author’s brain,
written down on paper, in language plain,
edited and rewritten (at least twice) ……
until (I think) ……..I arrived “quite nice”.
Along with nineteen clones of myself,
I was sent to a London store, put on a shelf,
purchased by a lady (quite pleasant) ,
and given to her son for his birthday present.
“A Bad Boy’s Life” is how my title read,
about a boy ….now most likely dead.
The son thanked his mum, as he should;
he wasn’t a “bad boy”, but a boy …..good.
He read me through, cover to cover,
and some surprises he did discover.
Then I was placed on another shelf ….
with other books, not by myself.
There I sat, proud that I’d been read.
If I could have talked, ‘that’ I would have said.
[While in the store, I’d heard it told ….
that some books there were …….. NEVER sold! ]
Well I sat and sat, gathering dust,
feeling that “to be read again” was a must.
I sat there for three long years!
If I’d been able, I’d have shed some tears.
FINALLY, in the fourth year of my existence,
I was paid off at last for my persistence.
The boy’s younger sister did take me up …..
and (with her eyes) my words (she) did sup.
(That means she ‘drank me in’ by reading;
her eyes sure did some speeding!)
It was great to be read once more,
but then she finished me. ……What a BORE!
Again I sat on the shelf, ignored.
At night I listened as others snored.
I longed to hear footsteps come my way,
but I was in for a long, LONG stay ……
on the damn shelf! !
Once, the boy picked me up again;
he flipped through my pages, gave a grin.
It wasn’t much but it wasn’t nothin’,
BUT it was like turkey …….. without the stuffin’.
More books were added to the shelf,
but I may as well have been by myself.
I thought: “Is my fate to be HERE ten more years? ”
This time my thought DID bring me tears.
Then one day all the books were stacked …..
on a table, and some then were packed …..
into a cardboard box from a grocery store.
With the others in 'my' box, we ‘counted’ twenty-four.
Now, though daytime, we were in the dark.
On what journey would we then embark?
A few days later the box was lifted,
and to a thrift shop ……..we were ‘gifted’.
Now we all were examined and sorted.
A woman who examined me just snorted,
and placed me on a shelf labeled “Boys”.
Across the room were clothes and toys.
My new “home” had a sign; it said “one dollar”.
Why, when I was new I cost TWELVE! I (almost) …….
Next I had to wait a few weeks on THAT shelf,
next to a book about a mean old elf!
But one day an old lady, pushing a shopping cart ….,
picked me up. Just THAT brought joy to my book-heart.
[Oh, you may say: “Books have no heart or soul”,
but we do, as sure as a hotdog has a roll! ]
She put me in her cart and paid a dollar bill.
My heart was brimming so; book-blood almost did spill.
She carried me home and placed me on a shelf,
and this time I WAS all by myself ….
Nearby was a framed photo of an old man,
and an African Violet ……growing in a tin can.
For years after that I was read each day.
Sometimes (as she read) words she would say:
“Bad boy, you remind me of my faraway son”.
[AND sometimes, looking at the framed photo]:
“Frank, dear husband, to where did you run? ”
The first year or two she took me places too.
She took me to church, and to a zoo.
There she’d sit on a bench and clasp me tight.
I was rarely out of the old lady’s sight.
Finally, one night she left a candle burning ……
which started a fire. The smoke was thick and churning.
That night our lives ended, but we both were tired,
and while peacefully sleeping (together) , we BOTH expired.
(August 6 and 14, 2015)