This poem came out of the October 4, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from siege and my determination to write about imaginary bookstores in hopes of reminding people of the need for brick-and-mortar bookstores. It is posted as a free perk for the February 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl meeting the $150 goal. This poem belongs to the Monster House series; you can read more about that on the Serial Poetry page.
There's a bookstore a few blocks away,
at the corner of Hollow Oak Drive and Lewis.
The sign in the window says We've Got It Covered
and they usually do. Oh, we tried to be discreet
at first, because most people don't appreciate weirdness,
but my wife and I soon learned better.
The store is owned by two quiet young men
who dress in dark pants and tidy white shirts.
They'll help you find what you want, all right,
but if they can't, they'll provide a distraction
while the ghost creaks his way down the stairs
to pull the relevant title out just enough
to snag a hand as it trails along the shelf.
When we found out about our daughter's blindness
and went looking for helpful references,
they found the right books for us ...
and expanded the audiobook shelf without being asked.
We bought textured baby books for her,
and albums of lullabies from around the world,
and early readers and fairytales.
One time when I took her to the bookstore,
she pointed and said, "Look, a dragon!"
I looked. There was indeed a tiny dragon
with wings the color of old leather
and a belly as pale as parchment.
"So it is," I said.
"Won't he set the place on fire?"
my daughter asked.
"No," said one of the owners,
"he's a bookwyrm."
"Oh," she said. "So if he doesn't breathe fire,
then what does he breathe?"
the man said.
"That must be a handful
on open mic poetry nights,"
I said to him.
"Don't worry," the owner replied,
"we've got it covered."