A BOOKSTORE WORKERS CREED
Working behind the counter of a bookstore I have a chance to look…
to browse among our shelves and find the oldest books
I love the feel of them in my hands, to gently turn their pages and what’s more
I like to think about the paths these books have taken
before coming to rest here inside our store.
The words written on its pages tell a story…that’s well known
but the book has also made a journey and has a story of its own.
The story within the pages of the book is repeated each time the book is sold
but the story about the book itself…forever remains untold..
I recently came upon a book whose story is not yet through…
a tiny pocket-sized book that was given to a soldier in World War II.
(It’s interesting to note since they were small enough fit in pockets and gunny sacks…
these books helped launch the acceptance…and popularity of books in paperback)
It was a little weathered…its pages yellow and tattered by time
and I had to wonder how…from the hands of a soldier in the war
did it find its way to mine.
Did this soldier see much action…was he injured…did he make it out alive?
In the horrors of a war…did this little book help him to survive?
How much time did it spend in Europe?
Was its journey fast…or slow?
How did it find its way back across the ocean?
These are things I’ll never know.
For that is the dichotomy of a book is it not?…
On its pages it reveals its secrets for everyone to see
but the secrets of its journey shall remain a mystery.
So while I am it’s caretaker…
as I wonder about the adventures it has undergone…
I shall do my best to protect her
before she journeys on.
Copyright © Jim Yerman | Year Posted 2022
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