Set in especial arrangement
upon a small shelf in our family's living room
were my mother's eternally favorite books.
All in originally issued hardback,
there stood the atheist Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead
and Atlas Shrugged, a tome once reviewed
by one noted critic as being the only book
he had ever read that was entirely devoid of good.
Next to it was Styron's Sophie's Choice,
wherein is told the tale of a mother who
surrenders one of her children to the Nazis
and the ovens so that she, the mother,
and her other child may live.
I also recall there the book, Alive,
which relates the true story
of men trapped in the Andes mountains
who resort to eating each other in order to stay alive.
Next came Erica Jong's Fear of Flying,
a novel triumphing the intrigues of adultery
and the thrills of sex in public places
with complete strangers.
Lastly, there sat upon the shelf
Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Tharathustra,
a work wherein the philosopher declares,
"God is dead", shortly before the writer himself
was struck entirely mad.
It is only now, in my later years,
that I have come to sincerely appreciate the neighbors
and kin of my youth who would often remark
that it was my father who I took after.
© 2013 David Rushing