Inside the Covers

Remember the old library check out cards

Inserted into their cardboard sleeves

Pasted to the inside covers

Of thick hard-bounds and dingy paper-backs alike?


The librarian’s stamp was a symbol of pride,

Ennobling each pale blue index card.

The page-turner mysteries bore many

As did the well-worn copies of literary classics


Speaking to the reader about the wisdom of their decision,

Testifying to the many satisfied patrons who came before.

“See you have made a fine choice!

All your friends will approve!”


Other books had only a few, infrequent due dates

“April 12th

“Nov 17th

Scattered memories of being needed.


Small chips and digital scanners

Have replaced the librarian’s ink and stamp

Those precious cards, each book’s own private journal

Are yet another casualty of progress.


Regardless, each book still sits

Tightly wedged between its kin

Waiting, yearning, motives unchanged

Spine creaking and pages crying dustily:

“Pick me! Oh please pick me!”



She always spins, gripping with curled fists

Sending the metal flying on a rusty creak of rotating axel

A blue wedge, then faded red, and primary yellow

The spinning wheel with glimpses of a round, laughing face.

None of the other children can catch her.


She always spins, flinging her arms out and dodging trees

As she whirlwinds a path through the broken forest.

She dervishes despite her little fears

Flinging them centrifugally away until they melt

Into the whirring buzz of noise and color.


She always spins, on pointed toe

With graceful landings, and arched poise

Sequined leotard flashing in the white pool

Of the spotlight. She spins in harmony

With others, circles within circles.


She always spins, hands shaping the rim of a thick clay bowl

Her tired foot pumping the potter’s wheel

She sits and spins and smiles at her daughter

Playing on the hardwood floor

Chubby hands grasping to reach a worn, heirloom top.

Untouched Morning

I think of thick, dark cloud formations
Blooming in the murky dawn,
Unfurling beneath each step
As I slip inside the still glass of this virgin lake.
Her cold touch chases speech and breath,
Crystalized from my tightened chest.
Silt plumes settle after my
Passing from the shore as the seamless water opens
Her depths to welcome me. I exhale a final puff
Which the morning sun soon dissolves
While it illuminates my last, vanishing ripple.