Books in a Box

A friend told me this.
Another told him.
It started back of that.
Someone happened on a box
In a used bookstore.
A box of books,
Sitting there, waiting.
They had belonged to someone,
A poet who had died.
He was gone,
But there were his books.
Other poets' books, signed,
Dedicated to this poet who died
Not so much naturally
As bitterly early.

Soon word got around.
Others went to the store
To see his books.
But no one bought them.
Someone said, how could his wife
Have done this, let his books go?
The answer was this,
That she wanted a clean slate.
If she couldn't have him,
She didn't want his books.

But she does have him, still.
He comes back, to her,
To all of us, in fact.
Line by line.
Sometimes a loose phrase,
Something growing old now,
Something out of sequence.
Freed verse.

Christopher Woods

Christopher Woods ( would live in a library if he could.