Poetry Friday: A Reader Confesses

February 25th, 2011

This poem opens Teri Lesesne’s book Making the Match: The Right Book for the Right Reader at the Right Time, Grades 4-12. Read it and then spend the weekend curled up with your favorite book! Happy Poetry Friday!

A Reader Confesses
By Kathi Appelt
I could tell you how much I loved
Black Beauty, and how I longed
to touch his silky skin, to pat his
neck when he was nothing more
than a street horse, “Oh Beauty,”
I would say, and stroke his
soft nose, his velvet ears,
and how it was that I wept for
his old stablemate Ginger.
I could tell you how horses
thundered through my dreams,
ran straight out of the page
of Marguerite Henry and Will James
and Anna Sewell. I could say that
Misty and Smokey and Fury
were my best friends, and maybe
in some small sweet corner,
some dusty, yearning place
they still paw the ground,
swish their tales.

I could tell you all this,
but I’d rather say what books
are to me today, now that
those dreams of stallions and
mares and newborn foals
have passed to some other girl,
some other dreamer. Now that
my breasts sag and my
heart beats harder to coffee
than to Appaloosas and grays.

They didn’t stop, the books.

They rest beside my bed,
the next to last thing I touch
before I mosey off to
sleep, my husband being
the last. They ride in my
purse on airplanes and ferries.
They come with me to
foreign countries and accompany
me to the dentist’s office.

I share them with my closest
friends, feel connected through
our conversations of what we
loved, what we didn’t, what
moved us, where we went.

They bind us, don’t they,
these pages, these wandering
words, these stories that call
us to meet on a common street.

I could tell you about Black Beauty
and that girl who loved him.

But she wouldn’t know to say
that it was the book that mattered,
not the horse.

Entry Filed under: Poetry Friday

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sara Lewis Holmes  |  February 25th, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    They do indeed bind us, those books. Lovely.

  • 2. Carlie  |  February 27th, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    *deep sigh* from a formerly horse-obsessed book lover here too.

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