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At home I’m filling shelves and shelves

With interesting books I find

In OXFAM and the like.

So many, you’d need several shelves

To cram their contents in your mind.

And who will want them when I die?

No one I know I would entrust

With all those volumes gathering dust.

Why do I buy them then, yes, why?

It’s not as though I’m out to vie

With libraries where folk may browse.

Nor would it please me to arouse

The envy of a bibliophile.

Such folly wouldn’t be worthwhile.

Nor is there anyone they might impress.

In fact, the more the space, the less

Would visitors ask why

There are so many of them here.

I don’t know why myself, that’s clear—

Unless, surrounded by the things,

I hope that they might make me clever.

But could that happen? No, not ever.

Ron Gardner


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