A Teacher’s Library

Stashed inside a narrow cabinet 
are paperbacks I can’t let go. 
Unsightly things, 
their covers scotch-taped to creased spines, 
pages yellowed, brittle, dog-eared,
marred with scrawl
in colored inks and highlights.  
Half Price books would never want them, 
would toss them to the recycling bin, 
but I took them with me,
at least three dozen, when I retired 
several springs ago.  

The titles I could read again 
on Kindle if I chose
or purchase new on Amazon Prime,
but I won’t.  
These copies contain my love notes 
to their authors, 
memos to myself 
through years of dawning awareness, 
questions for my students 
to ponder as we walked in others’ shoes, 
imagined other times and places, 
sympathized with criminals and victims,
and tasted a wider world 
than we could know in just one life.   

Mary Redman

Mary Redman is a retired high school English teacher who currently works part time supervising student teachers for University of Indianapolis and volunteers as a docent at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields.   She has had poems published in Bangor Literary Journal, Flying Island, Nine CloudJournal, Northwest Indiana Literary Review, Snapdragon: a Journal of HealingTipton Poetry Journal, and So It Goes. One of her poems received a Pushcart nomination in 2019.