The Story Within

I bought an old book

from the used book store

that’s been in town for years,

untouched by the bustle of life.

I’ve never read it.

I’ve never even heard of it.

It was in a part of the store

no one goes to anymore.

I picked it up, allowing bits

of old leather to fall,

making more cracks in the pointless design

that caked its protection:

the thing that had its own story

as it guarded the story within.

I opened the cover, carefully keeping

the few threads still connected combined.

The yellowed pages didn’t disgust,

but drew me closer to its past,

as if its age made it that much better.

It smelled like the woods, trees and rosin,

right after a hard summer rain.

The pages themselves were worn, touched by many hands

as it touched so many lives.

I took it home, letting it become a part of my life.

By the end of the first chapter,

I wasn’t reading anymore,

but allowing the words to rise off the pages,

containing not only the story,

but the wisdom and history

that was somewhere; beneath, above, and in between.

A language no longer used,

a mindset long ago forgotten.

Those simpler times of civility and elegance,

that have fallen far from our culture.

Yet even from a different time,

its many journeys, pleasant or not,

this book has landed in my hands.

No matter how it was treated,

where it was put,

it always tells its story.

It always gives knowledge

for yet another generation.

It lives its own life,

one of suffering and strife.

But the survival of knowledge

will overcome all else,

giving love, logic, and a link

between times and generations.

The final pages ended my adventure,

but I knew it was not mine alone.

I returned to the book store,

gave them the book that reflected

not only my life, but a culture.

I went to the farthest corner

of the store, and picked another.

One book will move on to change someone else,

while this book, now in my hands,

will add another facet

to my view of the world.

Cover to cover,

page by page,

word by word,

letter by letter,

knowledge is everlasting and will always survive.

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