A poem has been eluding me for hours.
No one showed up for tutoring either.
I’m inventing games and tasks to kill time
and to prevent getting lost in lengthy
projects begging me to come home to stay.
I wouldn’t want to miss students or poems
should they appear with their own urgencies.
Don’t leave, I tell myself, don’t wander out
into the sunshine where children who filled
library chairs all winter long now play.
Straighten the books on shelves in fiction.
Read first chapters of books by authors you
don’t know. Clean glass faces of tablet and
cellphone. Oh! Grin at the confluence of
digital data and the printed page.
The library dwarfs the gadgets I hold.
Its tall stacks dignify order within
a hands-on classical tradition. They
surround tables, chairs and desktops where
neighbors read, research and celebrate.
This month an art display of dark goddess
silhouettes with collaged décor from Africa
crowds walls and shelf ends. Discuss and admire.
Examine and inspire. Librarians
help and shelve and hush and plan to delight.
New gadgets bow to the ancients in here.
They snuggle into the library’s warmth.
They know they’re lighter, faster, and more far-
reaching—or so they say. They’re smug about
being more complete, but they have respect.
My time is up. I didn’t have to kill
it after all, but conjoin and conjure
within its plenty. Who doesn’t love a
library? a cornucopia of
soul food, well-seasoned, with time to feast?
*The illustration above is from the blog post "10 Reasons Tablets Are Better Than Books" at Dispatches from Coconut Grove.
Note: I disabled comments for April 2018, International Poetry Writing Month, because I am trying to write and post daily and experiment with prompts from other sites. If you wish to make specific constructive comments, I would be delighted to exchange emails. You can also leave comments on my facebook page where this is posted.
My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2018 Susan L. Chast