I seek to borrow the only good book
With a perfect beginning, perfect end,
And I shall rest it in its perfect nook,
Where nothing further is left to defend:
Therein I shall find my perfect meaning,
All too long have I been loath to pretend
To be somebody I knew I was not,
Sneaking around the corners like a crook,
Striving to steal somebody else's plot,
While my unwanted garden was wanting.
After the good book's end, what have I got?
Heaven, without another book to read.
The end of history will comfort me;
Yet another book would just make me bleed:
There must be a good end to this trifling.
Thus one book and only one book I need,
Something very simple to begin with:
Nothing in the beginning is my creed.
And after Nothing you will find my myth:
Take or leave it, that is my being.
If it ends in Paradise with a fifth,
After some grand fortune has been well spent,
Or otherwise concludes, true to its pith,
Then safely to me has my book been lent:
I shall return it to its perfect nook.
Thanksgiving Day 2001