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Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Librarian's Sternutation

Among the dusty stacks
the silence was entertained
by a stifled sneeze
that shook the evidence
of writers' obsessions.
Terrified, the young librarian
quickly rose from her search
to race to the front desk
where the Managing Librarian
kept a proper desk
thoroughly clean
except for one project.
An apology meant a demerit
in a neatly kept notebook
that would one day
be a part of the same library.
Instead, the young librarian
queried the presence of the dust
to a face whose mouth descended
below the depth's of Nemo's submarine
and wider than Jonah's whale.
The dust protects every living book
was a perplexing answer.
If we really cared about these books
responded the young librarian
we would remove the oxygen
from this room every night
sealing the library
in a cloud of nitrogen
so these words would never age.
One never lectured the Managing Librarian.
words only age as the best writers create
for new thesauri
and readers to find.
Outwitted, the young librarian
returned to the stacks
red-faced and fully aware
why the Managing Librarian
had achieved that position.
It would be years
before the young librarian
would rise to that exalted position
having spent a life in search
of new words
as the dust created a scale
as if the books were pangolins.

The cyberwarriors might never
timesuck the stacks of books preferring
to head away hangry for cakeage
wishing permadeath
for the new Managing Librarian.
At the least, this Managing Librarian
would be ready to downvote
any attack from a young librarian
who adorbs themselves so much
as to humblebrag in defense of cleanliness.
In this new Managing Librarian's time
t'ain't no dumbphone here
especially with an aptronym
like Mr. Manual Booker.

Barry G. Wick

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