The Book Peddler


The old man always sat in the same place,

a not-quite-corner,

 behind a table propped up on one side by a broken half brick.

He sat there in the sun,

 seamed face turned up to absorb it,

 scattered teeth grinning into it as if to welcome an old neighbor.

He sat in the drizzle under a tattered umbrella with the faded words ‘Wrigley Park’ barely visible.

And in the cold he sat shrinking into himself.

a small brazier at his feet,

wearing gnarled and unraveling fingerless gloves on his hands,

usually wrapped around a hefty ceramic mug of something steaming.


His books lined the table in no discernible order,

old and new,

dull and vibrant,

whole and scotch taped together.

No one bothered him,

few spoke to him,

truth be told few noticed him,

except to sidestep cardboard carton corners poking out from underneath

the battered card table.

But he smiled and nodded gently to all.

“Books are capricious things,”

he would tell anyone who lingered at the table…

“and the ones who peddle them must understand the way

they work,

and accept the oddness that comes with them

without question,

as old friends must…”

He would finish by nodding and patting the books arrayed on the table.

Some smiled, 

some frowned,

all walked away.



About chimerapoet

I write. I write a lot. A. LOT. There are times I am half blind with a sentence ricocheting off the walls of my stupid, cant be shut off to save my life, brain. I am miserable until I get it down on paper. Punch it up a bit. Usually cross out half of it. And then breathe. Relax. Only to do it all again..... But I just thought that was me. How I am. Not a writer....noooo...not me. Writers are.....writing people. People Who Write. REALLY write. Write things that matter. All grown up very important things. I am just a scribbler of sorts. And I was/am content with that....if it's true, well then....a scribbler am I. Until the thought wormed its way in to my brain (the furtive sneaky bitch) that maybe...just maybe...that is writing. My style. My strange way. But....still writing. So here I am at the dance. Not sure I know any of the moves and the music is entirely mine. But.....only one way to find out. Would you care to join me?
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5 Responses to The Book Peddler

  1. How sad! Why do so few people have any heart?

  2. Poignant.So well written.

  3. I loved the realism in your poem. Thank you for sharing it.

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