A Bookworm’s Poem

An Afternoon In The Stacks

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Closing the book, I find I have left my head

inside. It is dark in here, but the chapters open

their beautiful spaces and give a rustling sound,

words adjusting themselves to their meaning.

Long passages open at successive pages. An echo,

continuous from the title onward, hums

behind me. From in here, the world looms,

a jungle redeemed by these linked sentences

carved out when an author traveled and a reader

kept the way open. When this book ends

I will pull it inside-out like a sock

and throw it back in the library. But the rumor

of it will haunt all that follows in my life.

A candleflame in Tibet leans when I move.


Mary Oliver

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