Ann Arbor Review
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I enter my grandfather's library, listening
for the familiar rustling of pages turning
and the scratching of his fountain pen poised
above a leather-bound notebook, but all that breaks
the stillness are my soft footsteps.
I slowly slide into his black leather chair
and cautiously seat myself at his desk.
Opening the notebook before me to the first page penned,
I stare at the words, my vision unfocused as my mind
tries to grasp where my grandfather now makes his home.
Perhaps in the cool bronze urn filled with his ashes
on the shelf with his most treasured books--
volumes of works by Borges, Dante, and other sensitive souls--
or in the chair that I have now usurped with my earthly form,
or in the words of the manuscript I now read.
I mourn the fact that I never sufficiently attempted
to understand when he discussed his writings with me
while visiting our home on Sunday afternoons,
when my thoughts were with my friends
playing soccer in a nearby park.
Now his manuscript seems as inaccessible
to my unschooled mind as an unsolvable equation.
Slowly, I take a pad of paper from my backpack
and reach up to the shelf that holds
copies of the first book he ever published.
Opening to the foreword, I begin to read;
as my grandfather's library becomes filled
with the sounds of pages rustling
and the scratching of a fountain pen
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