The Library

While I was in the Library

Finding words that rhyme with ivory

(I've fallen for piano keys)

My friends were outside picking blackberries

While they were weeding the beds of garlic

I was reading a book about farmers

Who couldn't find work

I hope you're hungry my dear,

For I have words to share,

My truth to confess:

I dress my Sunday best

Seven days a week

But I study the way

Roscoe Holcomb speaks

And the way Texas Gladden

Ends her notes by adding

Sudden mountain peaks

The ballads and storms endured

And forms that changed -

I hold the remains as though

America's past was cremated

But the ashes in the urn

Can't alleviate the fact

That we've been burned

While I was in the Library

Searching for a word

The ivory keys became plastic

The flag was at half-mast

For the passing of the wilderness

And my friends were locked up

For stopping construction equipment

While I was in the Library

The world spun around me

And I finally found my word,

Dressed like me, singing songs

For the last bird of its kind,

For the migrant workers hiding,

For my friends pulling silver fruit

Off starry vines,


“Here, take this star,

Take it to the Library

And we'll read beneath its light

A hundred years from now”

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