Little Lost Mystery Book (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: This poem references a book that I ordered once, and which somehow got lost in the mail. It was a mystery story–one of the Aunt Dimity tales by Nancy Atherton–and while I was sad at the delay, the whole situation felt almost appropriate for something from that literary genre. Eventually, I did finally get it, though–without any explanation of what had happened to it in the meantime.]

Oh, Little Mystery Book…                  where can you be?

    I invited you to come out here and stay with me

        but somehow you vanished from one station to the other

              for a peculiar reason I might never learn

Perhaps you got wedged between fellow packaged passengers—

      overlooked by those who saw to your itinerary       and unfortunately delayed

                      for a much later ride

Or you could have slipped off a conveyor belt towards the loading dock

       down among warehouse guests and various travelers

               and grown so curious as to their destinations

                      that you stayed there longer than anticipated

I could understand if misfortune sent you elsewhere

      among unknown neighborhoods far from my home

           and into the hands of another soul in need

                 of literary nourishment


The possibilities could send you from coast-to-coast

               up and down rivers

                       in all types of weather and conditions

                             limited only by the imagination

What I mean to say                        Oh, Little Lost Book

       is that you have offered me a mystery

           far beyond the one inscribed on your pages

                  personalized and memorable…

             So please travel abroad without dread

                     because I am patient and have received

                            even more than you promised

                                   in an unexpected twist 

                                            …and who knows

                                                   what might happen next?                               

6 thoughts on “Little Lost Mystery Book (A Poem)

    1. Goodness, the book was charming and sweet on its own merits. I also loved the mystery of its late arrival as much as the story told on its pages. It’s a hard call, really–but I have a feeling that I’ll remember the mystery of it getting lost for several weeks long after I’ve forgotten the book’s contents, if that says anything.

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