Ode to the Public Library

You stand open in thousands of cities and towns 
across America. In each library, readers
cross your threshold to find 
hundreds of books, journals, and recordings.
All free to those who revere knowledge.

You extend an invitation to history, travel, 
mystery, science, and philosophy, 
arrayed on orderly shelves, remind us, 
no matter what library we enter,
poetry awaits us in the 800's.

You bring in neighbors for meetings,
offer quiet spaces for research and study,
open your doors to receive everyone 
regardless of skin color, income, 
or language of origin.

You provide books with large letters 
for small hands and for old eyes,
read stories out loud for the youngest acolytes. 

Each of us may worship a deity in a different 
sanctuary. At the public library, we are all 
supplicants in search of enlightenment.

Fran Abrams
Fran Abrams, Rockville, MD, began writing poetry in 2017.  She has had poems published in print and online, including in the Winter 2021 Bulletin of Alan Squire Publishing, Bourgeon Online,and Cathexis-Northwest Press. Her poems appear in eight anthologies, including This is What America Looks Like from Washington Writers Publishing House. In 2019, she read at Houston Poetry Fest and at DiVerse Gaithersburg (MD) Poetry Reading Series. Please visit franabramspoetry.com