Dusty Boxes

Dusty Boxes

Under the dust
Several van line stickers
Boxes packed
But unopened
Full of text books
Just sitting
For years
In how many basements?
Through all the moves
Fanning the pages of each book
Preparing for recycle
Nothing between the pages
But each page filled
Filled with bewildering information
Equations – endless equations
Diagrams and graphs
None of it intelligible
The name on each book is mine
But the contents
No longer mine
Can that knowledge be retrieved?
Of course
One book at a time
One page at a time
Hours of lectures per chapter
Many more hours
Spread over five years
I could once again own
What’s in those dusty boxes
Now opened
But why revisit
All that led to now?
That which nourished
My mind and spirit
Prepared me for work
Fed and clothed my family
Led to now
And most importantly
The fruits of that labor
Many years ago
Remain a part of who I am today

© 2012 Thomas W. Cummins


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3 Responses to “Dusty Boxes”

  1. Thomas Says:

    You know you’re hitting the right chord when you can write what others feel. I agree that some things we learn seem less permanent than other things. But the less permanent served its purpose and perhaps we couldn’t have gotten to where we are without it.

    • Tom Says:

      Thanks, Thomas. I was surprised by the emotional murmurs as I thumbed through the books. And again as I took them one-by-one and dropped them through the slot on the recycle bin. My university wants to publish the reflection in a departmental letter. It seemed to speak to them as well.

  2. jmsabbagh Says:

    Nice flow of thoughts about books and boxes..l enjoyed reading the poem..Regards.Jalal Michael

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