Lori stands in the library
in a quiet row
among patient books.
She stares at a dusty book
its plastic yellowed
Railroads in the Civil War, by Clark.
She wonders who reads such topics.
Who writes such esoterica.
And decides no one and Clark.
Lori goes to a computer terminal.
She looks up the book’s history—
it has never been checked it out.
It arrived as new in two-thousand-one
and survived the periodic purges
to make room for something new.
She wonders if she checks it out
will that cause the librarians to notice it
and remove it from the stacks.
She wonders if it feels lonely
aches to held and read
or if it is happy avoiding the shredder.
Lori adds it on top
of her two reserved best sellers
that finally descended to her hold number.
copyright © 2023 Kenneth P. Gurney