Agatha, My Dear

by Jonathan Everitt

Our small-town library, tenant of a once-deserted chapel,
gothic little windows and a creaking wooden floor.
The shelves rose high with paperbacks so fermented
sweet there was nowhere but this sanctuary I should be. 
Agatha, your books were abundant here, my dear—I’d tug each
title from the row of C, every spine more tempting than the last.
Crooked House. The Mirror Crack’d. And Then There Were None.
In descending autumn nights of junior high, I’d wriggle deep
in bed and sip your stories like a strong Earl Grey.
But what dark island manor pens you now? And what of me?
O to be found mansion-dead in dramatic repose, impeccable
suit and tie, felt black billycock, pocket watch wound down
strewn among your Cast of Characters in prose immortal.