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I am making the circuit of Little Free Libraries
Strung through the neighborhood
Like so many literary beads
South of me, just short of the park
Where all the old trees blew down in the tornado
Is the one that always seems to have financial and college prep books
It used to have classic novels like Robert Louis Stevenson
And before that children’s books
I guess the children grew up.
I turn east and cross the big street at the mercado
Where there’s a pedestrian marker
So you can pretend it’s safe to cross here
There’s a library box in front of the six-flat
That I think is home to an extended Somali family
And always has a great selection of beach books
Tom Clancy and Faye Kellerman
Then to the alley that’s really a street
And around to Ridge Avenue, through the old neighborhood
Past the athletic yard where kids are running track
Where everything is familiar
Past the haunted house and the convent
Past the bourekas place that didn’t make it out of the shutdown.
At the light, the suburbs start
But the neighborhood doesn’t really change
As I make my way to the four little library boxes
Two south of the train tracks, two north
One of them always has Nora Roberts books
I try to return those to the same one
Today I’m leaving gardening books
I mostly rely on the internet now anyway
I cleared out the duplicates when I moved
And found them yesterday, still in the basement
Where I’d stored them, just in case
I don’t need three books about berries
Or the trendy ones about backyard gardening
Or How To Make and Maintain a Water Garden
But I kept after all
The ancient New York Times Book of Landscaping
With its black and white photos
Of barely discernible 1960s suburban yards
Because it used to belong to my mother.

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2 thoughts on “Destination

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