From the collection published in 2015, Spring Cleaning.
The old man
has come to the library
to read the newspaper. It may be his habit
to do so every day I don’t know
because I don’t come every day
to the library
I watch as he shuffles to the rack
rubber soles scuffing the carpet
pulls a paper out and makes the
slow trip back to his chair
the small shivery ruffle of the paper’s pages.
The pages shiver louder they rattle in a burst of fright
as a fit of coughing overtakes
the old man and the paper both of them.
When things settle down
I turn back to my work and wonder if
I’ll be coming to the library to read the paper