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New Book

by Thomas D. Reynolds

Opening a new book,
I imagine the bookbinder
slumping out of the back
at the sound of a bell.
Thirty-five or forty,
with graying ponytail,
thin as (what else?) paper,
wearing a dirty apron.
His skin loose and wrinkled
around his neck
like crumpled construction paper
a child has smoothed out.

Brushing the book with a thumb
to remove invisible dust,
breathing in like a new meal
the sweet odor of new leaves.

I envy his distracted air,
the ink-smudged hands,
unstudied diffidence,
and lack of words.


Copyright © 2006 by Thomas D. Reynolds

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