Old anthology, fourth edition, not a rare book,
binding almost gone, many loose pages,
a dusty outline on the shelf
when I first lift the book.
One Cathy Brady owned it once
sixty years ago, she dated it.
Her signature is neat; her letters
are smoothly curved with no sharp angles.
I thumb through the pages.
Every poem I'd bother to read again,
she had already circled.
Every line I might memorize,
she had underlined.
Were she twenty then she might yet be living,
white hair, her hand shaky,
but maybe her letters would still posses
something of those gentle slopes.
I bought the book for eighty cents.