Upheld

Have you noticed
how good it feels
to carry a book?
Just one, with it
held between your
palm and fingers
on one side and
your pressuring thumb
on the other.
Something good
will come from this,
or likely to.
Once, a grade-school teacher
asked me to bring the
dictionary from the school
library to our classroom
for a project—the
big one on the stand,
ten inches thick.
I cradled it in both
my arms and
imagined I was hoisting
a wheelbarrow full of coal,
delivering it
to our cold little house.

–Allan Cox