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
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!”