Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Old Branch Library is Closing

The Old Branch Library is Closing 

By David Hartley Mark 

The Old Branch Library is closing 
In Pompano Beach, Florida 
Near my temple 
I used to go there 
When I had a spare hour 
Before my weekday class. 

It was two blocks  
From the temple 
And I always gave  
A relaxed sigh 
When I walked through 
The ancient doors 
As if entering  
A museum 
Or a cathedral 

The librarians have packed up 
All the books, 
And are moving to 
A brand-new combination 
Community Center 
City Hall 
Recreation Location 
And library 

The new building is designed 
Cleverly 
To resemble a shelf of books, 
Leaning against one another 
In a tumbledown fashion. 

It is a treat 
For the eye 
And will enhance  
The Neighborhood 
Enormously 

Still, back at the old, worn-down 
Previous Branch Library, 
I peered through the glass 
Of the front door,  
And was saddened 
To see row upon row 
Of empty shelves, 
Bare of the books 
They once displayed 
So proudly.  

I will surely visit 
The New Library, 
But this now-deserted one was  
Humbler and friendlier, 
Like the branch library 
I grew up in  
In my Old Neighborhood, 
Reading my way 
From one wall of the building 
To the other: 
The Red and Blue Fairy Books, 
Alice in Wonderland, 
And books of poetry-- 
Along with The Jewish Encyclopedia, 
Which I used 
To write my papers 
For my 8th Grade rabbi. 

Now, this library is gone. 

I believe that, 
When a library building closes, 
It should be deconsecrated 
Like a church