Cover to Cover


by Gil Hoy

I used to love reading books.
The routine was always

the same. I would visit my
third grade schoolmate
up the street. We would

read and read for hours,
in a peaceful little study
in his house.

Our parents were oh so
satisfied with their
precocious prepubescent sons.

Now and again my chum’s
mom would set out
cookies and milk.
The sugar as likely as

not made our perusal faster.
The better the book,

the more you didn’t wish it to
end. You start with
chapter one. If there are

twenty, by the time
you got to ten, you were
tormented about finishing.

And you realized it was
getting nearer.

It occurred to me on

one of those unspeaking
afternoons that
my approaching death

was much the same as
my book, and that I was
on Chapter 4.

I couldn’t complain because
there was still
so far to go. (Having not
yet reached 10.)

But I was aware of
my own mortality.
I continued to devour
my book.

But the words and
pages seemed more
important then.

Category: Poetry