Last week, the ALA conference was in Denver. On Wednesday, Kate McClelland and Kathy Krasniewicz, YA librarians from Connecticut and leaders in ASLC, were on their way to the airport when their cab was hit by a drunk driver. The cab rolled and both women were thrown out and killed. I picture them at the conference, seeing old friends, sharing meals, poring over wonderful books, and I feel terribly that their visit to our city ended so badly. I imagine the teenagers at Perrot Library in Greenwich, Connecticut missing their book friends and mentors. I imagine families mourning wives, mothers, and grandmothers. I offer this poem in honor of all involved in this situation…
Do You Have Any Advice for Those of Us Just Starting Out?
And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle
where a child a year or two old is playing as his
mother browses the ranks of the dead.
Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf.
The title, the author's name, the brooding photo
on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray
book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher
it gets, the wider he grins.
You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower
falls, be like that child. Laugh so loud everybody
in the world frowns and says, "Shhhh."
Then start again.
Read the whole poem here.
POETRY FRIDAY this week is at Adventures in Daily Living.