The Book Not Taken by Gene Ambaum & Bill Barnes (with heartfelt apologies to Robert Frost)
(As seen this morning in Too Much Information: an Unshelved Collection)
Two books converged on a yellowed shelf,
And sorry I could not read both
And be one reader, long I stood
And looked up long as I could
And to where others the lower shelf outgreweth;
Then took the one, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better cover,
Because it looked sassy and shored bare;
Though as for that, the young au-pair
Didn't need me; she had a lover,
And both that morning I equally comb
In sleeves no finger had stained black.
Oh, I kept the worst for another day!
Yet knowing how tome leads to tome,
I doubted if I should ever a next book lack.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere pages and pages hence:
Two books converged on a shelf, and I,
I read the one less traveled by,
And that makes me a little different.