Bio Note: Poets write of passions and surely one of mine is picking roadside raspberries and blackberries, slurping peaches from local orchards, and pulling carrots from the earth like the treasures that they are. As interesting to me is the discovery of a bookmark in one of my grandmother's books, the story is as delicious as any I could write. I am co-poetry editor of Streetlight Magazine and invite readers to submit at: streetlightmag.com
Reading Suspended, Reading Resumed
for Edith Zink Miles, who received her Master’s degree from Columbia University in 1906. A yellow chain of tatting is a bookmark, like a forgotten artifact among the years, dangles from the gold-embossed spine. With a spark of curiosity, (penchant for such souvenirs), I turn to the poems on page two-twenty-eight. The binding grates with a ticking crush of gears to settle in dust one could almost excavate. The Oxford Book of English Verse, nineteen-o-six, was delivered Thursday by FedEx freight— a mysterious surprise from her executrix. I see on gilt-edged pages ingots for the ages— untarnished poetry. No need for academic fix, are Donne’s Dream, Funeral, Ecstasy. They are sages from as fraught a time as ours. Then the golden clock may have chimed, so between read and unread pages she buried this reminder. Or perhaps a distracting knock, curtailed the reading to be done. This milestone, this bookmark, measures the meters we walk— proof that kindred readers are never alone, with treasures unearthed by what reprieve is known.
©2021 Frederick Wilbur
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell her or him. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL