I found a book in the used bookstore that intrigued me
It was a little history book that was printed in 1890.
It had that old book smell and feel
The print was the old book print
I could see a mustachioed man
Wearing suspenders and a black flat cap
Looking at his pocket watch before setting the type.
Nearby another man (and you know that then they were only men)
Stitched and glued the books together to bind them.
The book was printed in Philadelphia
And I could vaguely hear the clatter of hooves on cobblestones.
When I opened the book, a little dried clover fell out.
It was dry but still bright green.
It wasn’t a four-leaf clover, just a simple one that you would find anywhere.
It was picked by a hand long turned to dust
But his or her clover remains, dried and intact.
I have to think that the clover was more than a bookmark,
But rather a wish for good luck
Or perhaps to commemorate something important.
I think that the dried clover carried with it hopes and dreams
That I ardently hope had been realized.
The clover may have ben placed in the book in a moment of sadness
Or perhaps the elation of falling in love
It may have been a farm boy’s bookmark
As he was transferred to other times and worlds
As reading has always done for me.
Perhaps the book was a young lady’s companion
In quiet moments of contemplation.
But if the wish was to leave something of value behind.
That wish was granted
Because I cherish the clover more than the book.
And I hold it in my hand
The key to past dreams.