Favourite Book

You read the best book you own, over and over
Revisiting the text like it were an old friend.
It is an old friend.
These words are telling you all the things
you already felt yourself.
This is why it is the best book you own.
It is not one you’ve written, no not this one,
Somebody wrote it for you.
They mightn’t have even known at the time,
But they did.

These words are familiar, safe, pre-chewed
by your own brain, tacked onto your heart because
you remember being there when this happened.
The words act like a cocoon.
They swoop down around you,
arms all vowels and soft sounds,
Comforting and friendly and calm.
Their meanings might be sharp or hard,
But it is a feeling you recognize.
It is a feeling you are used to.
It reminds you that you have to be stronger than this.
You have to do the things that will make you strong.

“One day,” you swear, “I will write a book that
does this for somebody else.”

And you know that in writing that book, you may just be able
To absolve yourself by helping someone else, resolder your wires,
Count off a scar for every page, each poem offering a prayer,
Like beads on a knotted rosary.

Stefanie Petrik