The Life of a Book


The year is 1955. Just born, I am blank; no knowledge in the world.
Suddenly, to the rollers I am brought. Metal shapes stain my skin.
Soaked in red, my name is stamped in yellow across my front.
The black shapes stamped inside of me are my own sort of education.

With hundreds of my brothers, I am sealed in a box.
It is quiet in here. Dark too. Nobody is interested in conversation.
A blade releases us from our bondage into the light.
Placed next to one another, we are displayed to the public for sale.
Before long, a man grabs me and asks to hear my story.
With a snap, I am closed and purchased. He writes his name on me.

I live with the man now, and I teach him all that I know.
Soon, I am left to my own thoughts; I seldom get attention from the man.
With the passing of time, I am lucky to be noticed once in a year.
We change together, the man and I.
My body grows brittle, his bones follow suit.
My white skin fades brown, his brown hair fades white.
Neither of us is noticed much these days.

The man is gone now. His children move me to the attic.
Stillness for years, dust is my blanket.
The darkness reminds me of my youth.

Light floods in as a young man enters.
With all of the man's things, I am moved.
Seeing me, he relieves me of my blanket and asks me my story.
He examines me with care and takes me home with him.
With smooth black ink, a line cuts the mans name.
Another is placed beneath, and young am I again.

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