Saturday Poem / The Library and the Museum

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It was here that I

 

Had my first kiss

Sat at my first bedside

Summited my first peak

 

Books! that first tinder of my imagination

 

I go stack by stack

Until I find mine

I turn in to see, at its end

Not a square of wall painted old white

But a pane of glass

 

And through that window — dinosaurs!

Color blocks of children

Scramble at their feet

A mother squints down

At her museum map

Her little boy squints up

At the skeleton’s nose and lips and eyelashes

At that first tinder of his imagination

 

I’d like to meet the dreamer

Who laid a hand on the library’s white wall

And said “Open this up!”

 

For books should keep company

With dinosaurs.

 

Caroline Benner

Caroline Benner, a former journalist at Slate.com and Foreign Policy, is now enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Tomorrow is the first day of the American Library Association’s National Library Week.


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