You may see an albino squirrel cross in front of Friday traffic.
It may pause on brick pavers or cross a puddle that dries on the steps as you enter the suburban library, the one designed in 17th Century French-Italianate taste.
Do you feel the hug as you sink into the reading room leather?
Can you hear Billy Collins read his poem lying across two pages
of this week’s “New Yorker?”
Maybe it’s the current “Atlantic” essay, it beckons your attention with the call,
“Democracy depends on the consent of the losers.”
Does anyone notice the elderly visitor who comes in from the November wind?
He may wonder where he’ll sleep tonight as he studies today’s “New York Times”
page by page.
Hear those toddlers giggle as they sing at the Storytime program downstairs?
“New Yorker” ages, archives as years pass and the poem preserves.
To make room, shelves of expired periodicals are put out for recycle.
A nursing home administrator parks in the alley, retrieves the boxes of magazines,
returns to stock the day room at the senior center.
The aged “New Yorker” lies atop a pile on the end table by the couch.
A volunteer from the rehab program turns pages as she talks with an elderly resident.
We overhear Billy’s old poem, “Forgetfulness,” rise from the mildewed pages
as the woman reads aloud to the widow, a retired English teacher with dementia.