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In Books I Keep

Renee Cronley

When I was young, I built a bookshelf

to keep all my memories.

A rain cloud—a bookmark

inside my ‘Best Of’ volumes,

I turn to a dove-grey sky—

to my grandmother’s chapter.

      In a thrift shop, finding stories

written in cameo brooches, blouses,

and fine bone china tea cups patterned

with faded blue forget-me-nots.

We sipped chamomile tea from them

to eavesdrop on conversations

of all the lips that came before ours.

      I nested into her floral comforter

stuffed with clouds of polyester fill

while the drizzle on the window

harmonized with KeeKee’s purrs,

lulling me into a dreamy haze

as Grandmother read me Sleeping Beauty.

      Now when the sky loses its colour

and promises light rain,

I go back to my bookshelf

and sip some chamomile tea.

Renee Cronley is a writer and nurse from Manitoba.  She studied Psychology and English at Brandon University, and Nursing at Assiniboine Community College.  Her work appears in Chestnut Review, PRISM International, Off Topic, Love Letters to Poe, and several other anthologies and literary magazines.

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