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 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 Healing, Tipton Poetry Journal, and So It Goes. One of her poems received a Pushcart nomination in 2019.