My Father Gives Me This Book

My father gives me this book.
Its cover is torn, and the binding worn.
Its pages once virgin white, now aged.
Not as thick as the book I bought.
But its drawings are familiar.
I hold this book and shake my head.
It’s older than me, you know.
Before I was even a spermatozoa,
My father flipped through these pages,
Wondering how to learn all the
Muscles, arteries, veins and nerves
And even bones in English when
He mainly spoke Korean.
Now I have this book
I, now, near his age when it was new
Now this book, twice my age.
Almost like a torch.

Albert Lee, Chicago, Class of 1994

Originally published in Vol. X: 1994