This building has stood since 1922,
a two-story brick with fuzzy glass
that first served as the home
to the richest family in 50 miles.
When the last Bailey boy died
on Normandy sand so like
his West Texas grit, the house
went to the town, who watched
the dust blast the brick through
two more decades before a girl,
just ten, longed for a library.
Mesquite Bend baked pecan pies
and frosted cupcakes until Twain,
Hemingway and Jack London filled
shelves hand-built by the Carpenters’
Union League, who sacrificed three
weekends of baseball-playing to pound
nails into pine and polish mahogany.
Mondays, the tall English lady who once
acted on the stage in Salisbury read
Shakespeare and Seuss to anyone who gathered.
Friday nights brought the sounds
of violins and guitars trilling through pages
about farming and ranch history
as musicians and bands came
into the usually quiet walls to share
word-love of a different variety.
Summer reading contests encourage
discovery, take FFA students to jungles
in the Amazon and on adventures
where the good guys don’t always win,
and the sunsets compete with the sky
that turns orange and blue outside their windows,
rainy afternoons spent curled up
on Mama’s favorite sofa, the scent
of her lavender mixing with the dramas
about love, war and rites of passage
that help all who crave stories
face a world where joy meets pain.
April 27, 2015