The Library

There is an old man in front of me and to my left.

His hands rest clasped, thumbs rubbing thumbs, beneath the desk.

He wears a knit hat and a vest…atop two sweaters.

His blonde beard is weathered and turning gray in time.

His eyes piercing blue, make rugged seem refined.

Left, right, left, right, they scan a page of words.

Rapid, frantic, they dart until they don’t and there they stay

on a photo of gray ‘til he looks up at naught.

And it is then that I know that I wonder what he’s thought.


I do not know this man.

Is it history he loves? Does he profess it to the young?

Is he from a western soil where men tend to mares and mountains?

Is his soul of bitter pieces or of love for those around him?

He could be any. He could be none. I do not know this man.


He hoists his messenger bag onto his shoulder with a step.

The text he shuts and rests alone shelved with all that’s left.

He teeters through the double door and across the marble floor

and just so, in front of me and to my left, he is no more.


We do not know this man.

But must we know to say we can?

Can love of one’s existence in a time of change unfolding

For we cannot love the world if we can only do so knowing.

Kiersten UteggComment