Shelf Life

I need the touch of a page turner.
Their rough hands, sticky fingers and thumbs
- my creased spine, my dog-eared corners -
are all forgiven. The tot of rum
spilt a life long stain - the marmalade
map at breakfast, the ketchup suppers
of fish 'n' chips, that day of homemade
piccalilli, all that smother
of words - and even that jack tar,
who let leak a nostalgic tear
and penned a shanty in margins
- all forgiven. A mottled bargain
in Oxfam now. But billow my sails,
breathe life into barnacled tales
and find treasure in turning pages.

Phil Wood

If you have any thoughts on this poem,  Phil Wood would be pleased to hear them.