Butler Pennsylvania 39


When we were boys
our library rode at anchor
like the  Santa Maria herself,
her entrance inviting
with steps leading up
to an opening in the hull
and more stairs inside
to the great underdeck
supported by books
in rows and columns
with colorful bindings
enticing us to open
and be swayed into dreams
by pictures and words--
winds we thought them
that billowed our sails
and drove us out to sea.

Was it the scent
of that stately room
or the colors we saw
that let us partake
of the mariner's pleasure:
the pulse of the swells
the slash of the winds
the thrust of the valiant prow?

We sailed to far off places,
plotted, sought, acquired.
But— we set the course
that our ship would take
by following our finger
as it skimmed cross the page.

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