The kid leaves house           
at corner gets bus a nickel fare

The kid climbs stone stairs
pushes big oak doors
breathes in         out

Surrounded in silence
until kid makes words speak
only to the kid.

Librarians put the kid to work       
stamp stamp
dates on cards
more cards to file in little drawers
new cards on metal rod librarian
pulls out and cards settle in place.
The kid files away books from rolling
cart to shelves         

lifting to tops of toes
stretches to reach high shelves
leaves books inch out.
Librarian checks make sure

the kid gets it right.         Here
sun melts on oak tables
here rain streaks trails on windows
here air smells good.

The kid breathes         deep
breathes good
breathes safe.

Eve Rifkah

Eve Rifkah  was co-founder of Poetry Oasis, Inc. (1998-2012), a non-profit poetry association dedicated to education and promoting local poets. Founder, and editor DINER, a literary magazine with a 7-year run. She is the 2021 recipient of the Stanley Kunitz award.

She has run an ongoing writing workshop for 15 years and teaches workshops and classes at WISE (Worcester Institute for Senior Education).  She lives in Worcester, MA with her husband, musician, artist, writer Michael Milligan and their cat.

 She is author of Dear Suzanne (WordTech Communications, 2010)

Outcasts    the Penikese Leper Hospital 1905-1921 (Little Pear Press, 2010)

Lost in Sight (Silver Bow Publishing, 2021)

chapbook Scar Tissue, (Finishing Line Press, 2017) 

chapbook,  At the Leprosarium 2003 winner of the Revelever Chapbook Contest