They aren't books, they are windows. I might be reading Joyce and then there it is, the ever-familiar cursive belonging to the hand of my mother. Random and surprising, noting something she found interesting on page eighty-seven.
I'm studying new books. In the margins I've scrawled information and when I see it I crave my bookshelf. It reminds me. There is immortality in the pages. Precious paper I will forever protect.
I'd let money or even my skin burn before the flame might touch their leather bindings.
There is one, so perfect and rare. On the binding and cover a name is embossed in gold, Peter D. Holmes. On the inside cover of the Bible is my Mother's script... "Happy Graduation Peter, God Bless. Love Always, Mary."
I can picture Mom special ordering her boyfriend a high school graduation gift in 1960. I can see her giving it to him. I packed it, I know where he kept it. It was always in the top drawer of his dresser. Mass cards and obituaries tucked into its pages with a ticket numbered 27 to the Mistletoe Dance.
I keep it on a shelf next to her Bible busting at the binding from her using it as a scrapbook. In it are mass cards, letters from Ireland, wedding announcements, death notices and one ticket numbered 26 to the Mistletoe Dance.
Simple twists of fate brought me here, life is delicate. The little writing between the lines. The notes of what is plain as day. Subtle and small, but, grand in hindsight. Cherished memories of tiny occurrences on pieces of precious paper, bound in leather and sitting on your daughter's bookshelf.