National Library Week – NaPoWriMo Day11

It’s time to celebrate libraries – well, more than usual. This week is National Library Week and @yourlibrary asks us to write a library-themed “twaiku” (haiku posted on Twitter). When I was a kid, my dad took my sister and I to the big public library about every other week, and we kids would each fill up a paper grocery sack full of books. And read them all by the time we returned again! Our mom would get mad at us for reading too much instead of doing something active and useful, like chores. Do you have library memories?

The library steps
Led to a garden of books.
Free for the picking.

***

On hot summer weekends,
We climbed the great, wide avenue of steps
To the old public library, us three –
Daddy, my sister and me.

Inside the cool, granite grey walls
Were too many books – how could we choose?
I loved The Black Stallion and Nancy Drew,
But almost anything would do.

I’d pick through the shelves,
Beginning with “A,”
Each trip moving down the letters,
Gathering a sack full of treasures.

At home I could read all day.
The books, like food, would feed me.
At breakfast and lunch time
Stories would fill my mind.

Sometimes my friend came by
She with her own book,
And we’d sit under a shady tree,
Each in our own reverie.

I’d get in trouble for reading too much.
My mother, who once loved dolls, not books,
Would say, “Do your chores,”
“Go out and play,” or “Sweep the floors.”

I’d grudgingly go and do what I was told,
With a lingering look, tearing myself away,
Knowing a whole other world
Lay waiting in pages to be unfurled.

Linda Austin
“Cherry Blossoms in Twilight”
http://www.moonbridgebooks.com

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About moonbridgebooks

Co-author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir of her mother's childhood; Co-author/Editor of Battlefield Doc, a medic's memoir of combat duty during the Korean War; life writing enthusiast; loves history and culture (especially Japan), and cats
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