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The Club That Never Met
by
Liz Dolan


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On the manila-pocketed library card
inside the book’s back cover
the boxy-shoed librarian marked date
of return with a narrow rubber stamp
attached to a # 2 pencil.
Next to the box where I signed my name
were the signatures of readers
who had borrowed the books before me:
Watch for a Tall White Sail
Our Hearts Were Young and Gay
Seventeenth Summer, books
with watercolors, pen and ink sketches
and titled chapters. I felt kin
to those readers and wondered
if they ever thought of me
as under Araby-tented sheets
flashlight aimed, head pillowed
I caressed corrugated covers
dog-eared pages I loved 
and read pencil-checked passages
that bowled me over.


From They Abide (March Street Press).
Used with the author’s permission.
Purchase a framed print of this poem.


 

Liz Dolan, a retired English teacher who lives in Rehoboth, Delaware, has won numerous awards for her work, including five Pushcart nominations. As director of an alternative school in the Bronx, where she was born and raised, Liz helped increase attendance from 65 percent to 90 percent by initiating a daily program of writing across the curriculum. Mother of two and grandmother of nine--who "pepper her life," says Liz--she devotes several days a week to babysitting in between composing poetry, short stories and memoirs.

 


New comments are closed for now.
transitions:
Love your poem; the library has filled my life and taken me to places I would never have 'seen'... Long may it thrive ~. Judy
Posted 04/15/2013 11:54 AM
dotief@comcast.net:
Very nice.
Posted 04/15/2013 09:29 AM
Bronwen:
Love the detail in the first line. I loved playing library with recipe cards and envelopes when I was a child.
Posted 04/15/2013 07:43 AM
Nancy Simpson:
The first thing we searched for when we moved to a new town was the library. Getting our library cards came before buying first groceries. Getting our cards was equal to getting electricity turned on in our new house.
Posted 04/14/2013 09:34 AM
KevinArnold:
I'm still chuckling over "Watch for a Tall White Sail." Aren't they almost all white, even today? And Pahope remembers it well . . . fine poem with the perfect examples.
Posted 04/14/2013 09:24 AM
Pahope:
What a great subject for a poem. The first book you mention, "Watch for a Tall White Sail, " was my favorite as a youn teenager. Thanks for the memory.
Posted 04/14/2013 08:57 AM
Charly:
Oh how I loved Seventeenth Summer!
Posted 04/14/2013 07:52 AM
Jo:
Our girls, when they were small, pasted envelopes into the back of their books and made us all check out--they wanted their library "official. We all belonged to the club. Dorcas, your comment, beautiful.
Posted 04/14/2013 07:26 AM
MaryLeeHahn:
My classroom library books have cards in pockets with evidence of "the club that never met" stretching back years and years!
Posted 04/14/2013 07:21 AM
Dorcas:
We loved the employees library at the Medical Center but, it was abandoned for space needed, so they said. All of the old fashioned manila envelope went with our hearts tucked in.
Posted 04/14/2013 06:48 AM
fer:
Just this week my youngest grandchild (almost 2) was questioning the pocket in the back of an old library book which is now ours. It must seem like such a strange thing to today's children, but I still miss seeing who all had read those books before me.
Posted 04/14/2013 06:32 AM
Jean D:
What a delightful poem, bringing back memories of days gone by. I can really relate to those library cards, & reading under the bed covers with a flashlight! This was a must-send email to all my friends & relatives. Jean D.
Posted 04/14/2013 05:51 AM


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