Home >> Volume 3, Issue 01

And All for but Three Dollars

Lee Evans

The last day of the book fair in a queue
Outside the school, the people formed a line
That stretched from the cafeteria door along
The full length of the building, where they stood
With paper grocery bags in hand to hold
As many volumes as could fit inside,
And all for but three dollars. The intense
Preoccupation that the crowd displayed
Was such that one could almost feel the heat
From Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace—
See Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
Among the tables, passing by the piles
Serenely; while the bargain hunters grasped
Their treasures, without consciousness of aught
But acquisition and the need to claim
Their idols ere another seized the prize.
My spirits sank. The more their bags were split
And weighted down, the less my appetite
Became for my own interests, which somehow
I could no more recall; and then by chance
I picked up one small item overlooked
By all the avid readers in the crush
Of competition. With this book in hand,
The Little Flowers of Saint Francis, I
Emerged from the bazaar, as having had
Stripped off my clothes and my inheritance
Before the Bishop and the populace,
Bearing the Cross, in quest of Nature’s God....