Losing Marcuse

This is what my dad said
about my third wife
just after the divorce:

She never understood
the importance of a large
library. Did she?

I consented to the purges.
So many moves. Why haul
all that from home to home?

Today I unbox books,
hunting for her
Walden which she needs

this week to plan a talk.
I take account
of what remains.

Try to figure why
I kept Foucault
but lost Marcuse.

My Marx is still complete;
Merton has crept in;
the Harlem Renaissance is devastated.

She mostly kept the mystics,
all the native wisdom,
every work on healing.

Surely once we owned
the books, now filtered
through a dozen resale

stores, that still contain
the words I could not find.

John Speer

John Speer (
jspeer1@houston.rr.com) notes, with some regret, that it has been at least 15 years since he spent the night in a library.