In the Children's Room, Public Library

The little Japanese boy comes in ahead

of his mother,

moves toward the playhouse,

throwing tiny fierce karate chops.

A golden-haired girl with blue-moon eyes

looks up, says in a lisping soft voice,

Um ... do you have any books about

princesses?

And Fred comes in,

a tiny dark braid in back of his short hair.

His young sweaty body steams.

He's ridden here alone

on his bike, which

hopefully will still be down on the street

when he leaves.

He goes for the computer,

before placing at least 15 books in

his backpack.

Then slowly the children circle

the storyteller

who sits on the floor now,

ready to bring words to life.

And soon

in the back of the room

something stirs

on the shelves,

as spirits silently climb down from

the book stacks.

Curious George tumbles and leaps over

chairs and tables -

Merlin suddenly appears,

his robe of stars shining -

Mother Hubbard comes charging out,

her face red with work and worry.

Even the butterflies and bees, sheep

and unicorn

slip out of their hardcovers,

roam the room freely.

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