Used Book (Fair Condition)

Tattered covers, well-creased spine,
index missing, names inscribed,
notes in margins, verso stained
by coffee, weeping, tea, or rain,
a trace of sand and lint throughout,
an edge where something tried to chew,
whole phrases starred or underlined,
and pages taped in makeshift bind

- what were you to them, little book,
the ones who took you every way?
What was it that you had to say?
Who wrote the postscript, "Saved the day"?
What was it they received from you?
Who circled Chapter Twenty-Two,
or who crossed out the author's name?
To leave such wonders seems a shame.

Most older tomes gain dust and fade
as newer titles get displayed
on prominent and polished shelves
until we start to see ourselves
what treasures rest in yellowed text,
get curious to what comes next
from all those volumes left behind.
And so, I think this quite a find.

It's not a copy I'd have sought,
though I can't help but wonder why
this paperback has somehow fought
against all odds and caught my eye.
I'll take you home, my haggard friend,
then read your stories through the end
to understand your mass appeal
and any truths you may reveal.

Used Book (Fair Condition) © Copyright 2021, Robert J. Tiess.

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Books theme prompt challenge - link:
Submitted: February 7, 2021