by Joyce Sutphen
I spend part of my childhood waiting
for the Sterns County Bookmobile.
When it comes to town, it makes a
U-turn in front of the grade school and
glides into its place under the elms.
It is a natural wonder of late
afternoon. I try to imagine Dante,
William Faulkner, and Emily Dickinson
traveling down a double lane highway
together, country-western on the radio.
Even when it arrives, I have to wait.
The librarian is busy, getting out
the inky pad and the lined cards.
I pace back and forth in the line,
hungry for the fresh bread of the page,
because I need something that will tell me
what I am; I want to catch a book,
clear as a one-way ticket, to Paris,
to London, to anywhere.
"Bookmobile" by Joyce Sutphen, from Coming Back to the Body. © Holy Cow! Press, 2000. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)