Library Lady


Library lady, mute in your box of air,
neat with the equal space book covers wrap
around the adventures rippling through their leaves,
your silent life crushed in this story space;

shallow breathing not to stir the dust
dancing with the sun through fine white hair,
stifling a cough, a yawn, a gentle sigh
then softly sucking back the errant air.

Rumbling through the bookshelves of this room
a million tales act out their inky play,
more than you could read in all your years
each day skimmed from the pallid page.

Yet you, immobile on your upholstered shelf,
have tales to tell unreadable to me
scrawled on the tattered pages of your mind,
blown like summer’s petals by the wind,

trapped in a corner, holding the fragrance
of moments crushed into the urns of time.
Lowering my magazine I sit fondling
with furtive glance your life’s fragile cover

knowing one word from me could turn the page
and open up the world that your life wrote
and read aloud a little of your book …
but libraries must keep their silence rule.


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