A LIFE, A LIBRARY

In the dawn of our living,
we clamored to learn about too many things,
begged for a chance to go to the children's room,
discover adventure in book and toy,
train track and giant blocks.
 
When we reached the noon of our lives,
we studied hard, met in paneled reading rooms,
made friends, wrote bad poetry, used our library card,
told everyone we were working on a book
we never started to work on.
 
In the early afternoon,
we found work we enjoyed,
more friends, more opportunities,
discovered an intellect in the activity of the library,
attended weekly poetry readings hopeful.
 
When our period of graying skies darkened,
we met one another at the movie club, 
the book discussion group, talked a language that mattered,
started writing one book, then another--
our poetry deeper now, more substantial.
 
Centuries later we meet at our old table,
read the books we did write,
share publishing tales and a lack of royalties--
we were never rich, but we feel like billionaires,
and, yes, we became good poets.

Michael H. Brownstein

Michael H. Brownstein’s latest volumes of poetry, A Slipknot to Somewhere Else (2018) and How Do We Create Love? (2019), were published by Cholla Needles Press.