I won’t buy stocks or shares,
But I’ll hang around the library book sale
And wait, like a broker playing poker,
For the trolley that brings more books
People never borrow, or only ever read in hiding,
For the poems hidden between the books on framing art and how to knit the royal family.
You need to be on alert, a casual sweep, feel the unbroken spines, don’t look anyone in the eye, know your Dewey decimal system and know that poetry can often get lost in biography, war, and critical theory.
Rifle through the oversized books. You’ll feel the flush of the kill, soon know the taste of blood.
Pay. Ignore the guilt of having never borrowed it, the shame of not keeping your promise, of lurking between the shelves. Of pretending it didn’t matter at all.
She opened the library sixty years ago.
He climbed the highest mountain.
Made possible, many followed
footstepping Tibetan-styled streets
to read about those extraordinary feats
or climb again the Himalayan steeps
until they closed the library,
the books impounded,
and ladders littered the mountain,
the summit grounded.