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The Clover of Memory

Dried Clover

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.

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