Left with me

left with me, an old worn out novel,

he gave me for a reading,

I returned back one of my own

by an oversight, and thus I carry

his fingerprints ingrained in the words,

that whirl their wings inside my head,

vying through my voice, feeding me

with sweetening and tart rudiments

of the narrative,


when I glance at the first leaf,

I discover his mother’s forename

penned carefully, it belonged to her

and I trace (whom I’ve never met)

her trail, in smears of her sweat

as she must have turned the pages,

levying her ownership on the print,

that being possessed by me now,

I feel a thief


Image source

A simple piece for dVerse Meeting the Bar. I had earlier added a further two lines, but for me, the end this way holds more meaning.


21 thoughts on “Left with me

  1. I like how you built a story, with object and characters, in this poem HA! We certainly wish to know more about the context behind the words. The closing line is excellent!


  2. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Some of what you have so successfully conveyed with this excellent poem can be experienced in a used book store, just the odors within, that damp delicious smell of old paper, the liner notes left by others, the inscriptions left for posterity; but it is way cool that you found an incredible way to personalize the experience; fine job, Anmol.


  3. i think it is cool looking a tthe books of others…what they underlined…or notes in the margin are best…they tell a different story..how the book affected that reader……i love books so this was right up my alley….


  4. This is a very moving write. Seeing someone’s name in the book gives it a kind of intimacy….and I understand the feeling like a thief, possessing someone else’s book.


  5. Those imprints and names left by someone else is an interesting perspective ~ I can empathize with your sentiments of feeling like a thief ~ Good one HA ~


  6. perhaps more a peeping tom than a thief. I have felt the presence of others in my books, but never ever a poem that so keenly addresses those presences. Beautiful.


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