Glimpse

From the collection published in 2015, Spring Cleaning.

Glimpse

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
but today
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
accompanied by
the small shivery ruffle of the paper’s pages.
He sits.
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
Someday.

“Old Man Fishing in the Pennypack Creek”, 2015, acrylics.

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11 thoughts on “Glimpse

  1. Such a vivid description.
    I don’t know if it’s something despairing or not. Perhaps it is an outing that the man looks forward to every day.

  2. I see lots of people in the library (whatever public library I go to, the college ones, well, a whole different population!) who seem to make it a destination to read the paper or magazines or use the computers. I could see myself doing it (because I love the library and feel happy in one) but I don’t know how these people feel (all differently, of course, but you know what I mean). I hope they come and read with pleasure and not because life has narrowed in a bad kind of way.

  3. I think a library is partly a comforting place to be because it offers some sense of community. I wonder if that’s what draws older people to libraries to just spend time there. My Granddad used to read papers and magazines in the library to save money so there’s that aspect too. I’d like to make the library part of my routine when I’m old.

  4. My first thought was how great that he gets himself up and goes out every day. I hope that later he meets some friends for coffee or tea. Well, that’s what I’m imagining. The library is a home and refuge for all. (K)

  5. I imagine this scene too. I hope I will be doing the same someday. Our library is in walking distance of coffee shops and other stores. I run into people I know all the time. I just hope this guy’s health holds up so he can.

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