Prehistoric Message Current and Today

From the collection published in 2018, Clean Canvas.

Prehistoric Message Current and Today
The library cart
metal, shelves, books
four wheels
you’ve seen them
you know.

This cart
trundling somewhere
way off back behind me
I hear it. Intermittent cries
a screech-shriek repeated
drawn out and wavering variations
rising above the other library sounds
heating system hiss
click of computer keys
student snuffle late-winter cold

It bellows
across the plain of tables books carpet chatter
like a dinosaur elephant raptor bird

Human laughter from the area of the circulation desk
just goes on and conversation and
no one pays any attention
but me
my head raises
I do hear it.

I hear
protest
assert
dissatisfied
caged in
wants something different
snappish
and
ill-tempered hard-working
professional pride.

I don’t know why
this is what I hear
when everybody else hears

oil my wheels

But I do.

3/8/18

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