Friday, October 23, 2009

Returning From the Library

Since my children have grown up, I haven't been a frequent user of the library.  With my forensic nursing job, I would be at the hospital all hours of the day and night, taking care of victims of sexual assault and, when I wasn't, I would try to grab a little sleep in the odd moments that I could. I absolutely love libraries but most weren't conveniently open to suit my neeed ( 4AM, midnight ).  I learned about new books via the internet - so conveniently available ALL the time.  If I saw something I liked, I would order it.  Now with the loss of my job of twenty-one years, in the horrible budget cuts to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, my retirement, and the major decrease in my annual income, I cannot afford to order books the way I once did.  Woe is me!!  Adjustment is not easy for an old lady!  However, it has forced me to rediscover libraries and what wondrous places they are.  I spend hours at the one closest to my house.  When it doesn't offer what I need, I venture further afield to downtown San Francisco, an absolute mecca of volumes to keep one entertained indefinitely. 

This poem was penned after one such visit.

Returning From the Library

An afternoon well spent,
In avid search of books,
From myriad various stacks,
And hidden little nooks.

I’m anxious to get home,
My treasures to peruse,
Viewing all the volumes,
Which one will I first choose?

For two weeks I will be,
Enmeshed in many tasks,
Mastering Balinese cooking,
Illustrated by exotic masks.

I have the new bestseller,
A favorite mystery sleuth,
Who keeps me waiting breathless,
As he searches for the truth.

I’ve a book on herbal medicine,
I hope that I can learn,
To halt the aging process,
And help my youth return!

There’s a travel volume,
With scenes of glorious Greece,
And a book of meditations,
To help find inner peace.

That will keep me busy,
But if I need a few days more,
I can do online renewal,
Without walking out my door!

Carmen Henesy

Copyright © 2009 Carmen Henesy. All Rights Reserved


  1. And to think that some people don't like to do business online! Like you, I love it. I love it so much that I'm forever looking for ways to do more business online.

    Your poem is adorable.

  2. I am so spoiled with a branch of the award winning Columbus Public Library, just a mile up the road from me. I know my library card by heart and can order books and films to be delivered to my branch. They even email me when they're ready to be picked up. I'm a lucky duck.

  3. Oh Carmen, I feel your excitement with all the books you've taken home. I love library too, and usually spent hours there..

  4. Margie: I was a librarian you know. Nowadays, I like to read gentlemen. Do you have any around there? Maybe I could visit and you and I could go out to man browse?

  5. The library is a wonderful place. You've given a great tribute to it. I haven't seen a poem about libraries before, and I like the idea.

  6. WILLOW, it sounds like you have a wonderful library and are a frequent flyer!

    SNOWBRUSH, so glad you like the poem!

    ICY, getting all those books is a little like winning the lottery! And I didn't even have to invest a dollar.

    MARGIE, girl, sure we can man browse any time..but I think my luck might be better at the senior center...but I'll go with you anywhere!

    RATTY, you should see some of the other topics about which has stimulated me to write!

  7. such a sweet poem! i love libraries as well!!

  8. I also love libraties. The one I frequent is only about a 2 minute walk from my house and my libratian has become a friend over the years. She is an amazing woman. Not only does she remember which books she's read, she can only tell you when she read them. I often think I enjoy my visits to the library more because of her than of the books.

  9. I am a first time visitor to your blog.
    I will come back later and read the posts.
    All the best.

  10. hello, ms. carmen! glad to be back here! This Side needed some oil change apparently, ha! anyways, there is no joy compared to holding an actual book, you know, and also, scavenging from shelf to shelf, so i am sure, from the poem, that you enjoyed your library experience! we always go. we'd just been there again last week. the boys love to read! we borrow sooooo many at a time because i want to gain insight as to their budding interests! well, bye for now! enjoy your books!

  11. Anonymous4:11 AM

    I who hated reading most of my life, did love going to the library. Their is something serene about it, like going to church. The smell of the books, the quietness. feeling history all around. As a little girl back home, our library was not your typical library, it was more like a home, opened, small, floors the squeeked and this lovely older lady, whose lipstick was vibrant ruby red. I would go there just to see her . Funny ME.. ty for taking me down memory lane, I loved how you wrote this poem about your trip to the library. AWESOME!!

  12. aah... the pleasures of reading!

  13. Dear Carmen,

    Old Lady - I don't think so!. "Old" and "elderly" is a state of the mind. My dear Dad will be 79 years young in December. His thoughts after retirement in March 1990:

    "I don't know how I ever had time to work"

    "Now I'm retired I only work 7 days a week"

    Libraries are wonderful places and spaces to visit, to discover new books and to then spend some snuggle and "self" time with them.

    Care and huggles from me,

    Zebbycat is sleeping with a low level, almost growling snore right now - the darling rescue cat lad,

    Michelle xxx

  14. I'm an avid library user Carmen! I love to read and my house would be filled to the rafters if I bought all my books, so using the library has saved some space. My branch is only three blocks away from my home -- I walk there almost every other day. :-)

  15. Brilliant poem. I envy you your time in a library, I have no access to one here in Cyprus. I miss that pleasure from the UK.

  16. I'm impressed that you made it out of there and home in one day! Your poem is delightful. I became smitten with libraries at a young age . . . so smitten that I became a school librarian so I could pass on this lifetime love affair.