The well worn cover smelled of bookshelves
thinly layered in library dust.
Dog ears and margin notes played favorites
of aging pages,
while stitching splits along the back
showed benign neglect in overnight shifts
of sleeping face down without the loss of place.
Highlights and circled words
recalled the bedside lamps and knitted brows
vowing to check with Webster in the morning.
The binder showed the scars of knapsacks, bikes, and cars,
while the orange juice spill, coffee stains and
strawberry preserves confirmed that interest never waned.
And best of all, sitting on the beach,
in sun and surf, resting in our hands,
the pages didn’t even mind the sand.