Poetry: Gift Subscription

by Bret Fowler
(in memory of Camille Fowler)

Once a month
I waited for the mailman’s delivery
of the box addressed to me. Even now
I remember the path from the porch
through the yard
to the post and its mailbox,
yanking its door
and peering upon toes
for the book-size box
bearing the hardback
of the next Companion Library.

Sometimes, I didn’t read it.
It was enough to hold it there in my room, enough
to crack the pages between my thumbs
and nuzzle my nose deep to the spine
Enough to know it was mine.

I think about buying the set
from the bookstore downtown,
devoting a home shelf to the case
upstairs. But instead,
I do what a small boy
had done,
as much as for you as for me.

Bret Fowler is a Teacher-Librarian at Caldwell High School.