Stack of Words

The shelves nudge my hips as I pass.

They are jam-packed with too many books to count,

But I do.  I count them all.

Their pages are rough and worn.

They hold memories of eras I long to visit.

This book carries a faint smell of perfume in its faded pages.

It’s something flowery, but sweet.

It’s hard to envision.

I can see a lady, with blossoms in her hair,

Walking in a garden barefoot.

She’s reading this book,

And the gentle breeze turns the pages for her.

She’s content and happy.

At peace.


The next book has shiny, glossy pages,

An impersonal, detached presentation of facts.

It was pored over by many a high school scientist,

Only to be forgotten after final exams,

But it too has been used and loved.


Too many books to count, but I do.

I count each of the voluminous volumes,

The treasured tomes, and the many manuscripts.

Physically, each book is nothing more than a stack of words,

A jumble of consonants and vowels thrown together in an alphabet soup.

But books are more than that.

They are memories and knowledge and escape.

They are priceless; their value is incalculable.


I count them.

I count the memories and the knowledge and the escape,

Trying to quantify meaning and emotion.


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