Someone is selling the Encyclopedia Britannica
in all its volumes,
which take up a whole card table.
It looks brand new, even though it must be sixty years old.
That’s because it was only used a couple of times,
when the kids passed through fifth grade
and had to do reports on the Zambezi River
and Warren Harding.
Der Fuhrer was defunct.
The boys came home,
and everybody got the Encyclopedia Britannica,
which sat on the bookshelf
as they watched Gunsmoke
through a haze of Winstons.
these people grew old
and were sent to a home
by the same children who once wrote
reports on Warren Harding.
And now the complete and unabridged
bulging with important knowledge,
is sitting on a card table in a light rain.
“Yard Sale” by George Bilgere from Imperial. © University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014.