This is not the first love letter
I’ve ever written …to a library.
I confess I have loved others.
But you’re my library now,
my one and only,
and I chose you. I chose you
not because you’re the closest;
another is closer, or the biggest;
I’ve seen bigger. I chose you
because the first few times
I visited, I got lost in your stacks,
I was overwhelmed by the choices,
and you had everything I wanted,
including writing groups.
I love you, library, the way I loved
the Cañon City library just blocks
away from my house, so small
I ran out of children’s books to read
by fifth grade, and went into the adult section
where I found the story of two brothers
who died among their stacks of mail
and newspapers, and I imagined how happy
they must have been smelling all that paper.
I love librarians when they aren’t too
intrusive, merely acting as guides
to your heavenly wonders, and never
commenting on my reading choices
and the number of books I take away.
I especially love your machines
that automatically check out
and return books so that I never
have to engage in human interaction.
I love you the way I’ve loved all
the others, hoping to be locked in
over a long weekend,
with finally enough time to read,
and with perfectly-working glasses.
I wrote this tribute at the Tempe Library Writers’ Studio after hearing Rudy Francisco’s poem “To the girl who works at Starbucks.”