It was annoying, the torn pieces of computer paper hidden in the depths of the poetry anthology from the library. As she tried to flip through the pages, scanning the authors, the bookmarks would stop the pages at that other person’s choices, impeding her search.
She continued her studies, taking notes as she moved back and forth through the book, until she came to the largest bookmark, placed at Robert Frost’s ‘After Apple-Picking’. What pure delight! She hadn’t read that piece of his. She laughed at her irritated earlier self, how silly to be angry at bookmarked pages of someone’s fond remembrance.
She started at the beginning. Here was William Blake’s ‘Echoing Green’, a lilting reason to smile. The next stopped her at ‘Jabberwocky’ by Lewis Carroll, one of her favorites, too! And ‘Summer Shower’ by Emily Dickinson, another apple trees motif. She, herself, had an ‘apple’ poem.
Settling more comfortably, notebook forgotten, she delved into that other person’s awareness; smiling at happiness, sorrowing at pain, marveling at depths. She often added her own bookmark to the same author, though not the same pages.
And, as she closed the book, she dreamily thanked her bookmark benefactor.
Erin Elizabeth Kelly-Moen
April 30, 2004