224 Readings

The Book of Dad

Once I told him I was lonely and he said he never was lonely because he had the company of books I read because I need the company—when the library opens at noon on Sunday a line of people wait to walk inside—in Berkeley down on Grove Street, I walked with my father to see those objects known as books—he held my hand and looked both ways and slowly took the stairs and held the heavy door open for me to walk inside first and stand for a minute without him and seeing a desk, librarians, the signs saying adult books children’s books—both with arrows pointing opposite directions in case there was any confusion—one had to know oneself and make a choice—my father guided me over to children’s books then left to see what he could find to read in adult books—the children’s books were full of pictures and large letters short sentences—some only a word—the world full of smiles—then when I was tired of being a child I walked over to the other side to see what books my father had found—he would crouch down to how high I stood explain the plenty of words—pick a page and tell me what it was all about and I understood because he thought I could—now I read to find him—but the year he was born and the dash that says his life ends with another year—and I am holding a book that needs another reader, another to name what father, what daughter, what books closed that held them close.
Posted 07/21/14
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