The Reader


She came to Book Club, unanticipated,
even though she said we should expect her.
Paler, thinner, but receiving and returning
our hugs despite her own fragility.

Later, her comments were few,
the small glass of wine untouched.
Only the dainty lace cookies tempted her —
“Nothing tastes good anymore,” she sighed.

The book? Forgettable, uninspired.
“A beach read,” some said dismissively,
as they played the game of casting the
inevitable movie to come.

Our own stories, quiet, yet more dramatic
than any novel, each confronting our own
mortality over wine and cheese and
fragile cookies of delicate lace.
This poem was written in response to Miz Quickly’s Day Nineteen challenge, in which we were to write about a reader.


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