Poor Books!

from Stories In Small Spaces (ellen cherry & Bonnie Schupp) by ellen cherry

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(NOTE: This is a collaboration between musician/performer ellen cherry and photographer Bonnie J. Schupp. Bonnie sends ellen two photos every week and ellen responds with writing--a story, a poem, a song, a piece of music.)


Poor Books!
August 7, 2018

My father said
“Don’t dog-ear the pages,
It disrespects the book!”
I think of him telling me this
Most often in Winter
When I take more baths
And the likelihood of dropping a book
In the water becomes high.
They swell in complaint, but still let me read.

I mean no disrespect.

Poor Books!
I have torn your dust cover
Badly when I crammed you in my bag:
My flight is boarding.

Poor Books!
I have gotten sand in your binding
When I saw a seal on Assateague Island:
I dropped you in surprise.

Poor Books!
Marinara sauce smeared on page 25
In my haste to use you as a disguise
Sitting outside the market:
My old employer walked by.

Poor Books!
I throw you down the library laundry chute:
It’s back to the shelf for you.

Poor Books!
I’ve stepped on you, slept on you,
Smelled you without asking, passed you
To strangers, but
I won’t bend your pages.

I mean no disrespect.


from Stories In Small Spaces (ellen cherry & Bonnie Schupp), released September 11, 2018
photo by Bonnie J. Schupp


all rights reserved



ellen cherry Baltimore, Maryland

Emmy nominated singer/songwriter ellen cherry (lowercase letters intentional!) is a full-time touring and working performer based in Baltimore, MD. In 2017, ellen presents a new touring project called Portraits in Song that marries her love of storytelling and her passion for history through songs and portraits of interesting women in history to increase love and empathy for all. ... more

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