Kristin's childhood library

contains all the books
in the world. Knowing this
she has been pacing herself,
unwilling to read too quickly
and risk having nothing left.

Explicit architecture gives little away:
double brick for sturdiness and insulation,
slivers of windows to discourage daydreaming
about what's outside. The Adult section
houses Proust's remembrances

swirled into the prints of wallpaper,
Pound's cantos woven into carpets
with the annotations tucked beneath.
Listen to Japanese Nobel laureate wisdom
drip and curl down the drinking fountain.

In the Children's section,
lounge on a beanbag chair
stuffed with Jack's leftovers.
Follow vivid footprints
in reds, blues, greens

marking the paths from Young
to Young Adult toward posters
of puppets ballooned with "READ."
Present or past tense depends
on the glimmer of paint on bare feet.

Daniel M. Shapiro

Daniel M. Shapiro ( remembers being at the library at five years old and asking his mother how she could check out so many books for him without getting in trouble.