Birthplace

someone in your family once read my novel
or maybe studied it at school
I found an old copy
an early Penguin edition
down behind the back row of books
at the bottom of your bookcase
the front cover was ripped off
but I could tell they had appreciated it
because the title was pencilled
about thirty times on the front page
there was a recipe for fruit cake
in the blank space between sections one & two
scrawled down the margins of pages 126 & 223
were the departure & arrival times of the North Coast Mail
& across the back flap
the names of fourteen people
who used to be alive
frozen in a line
like sitting ducks in a shooting gallery

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