FOR WHOM THE BOOKS TOLL
Where has everybody been?
Safe at home in quarantine.
Streets are quiet, the future looks dim,
The whole world is colored in shades of grim.
There sits a dark library, forced to close.
Will it reopen? No one knows.
There was silence and emptiness week after week,
Until a voice in the library began to speak.
“What’s the point? What’s the use?” it sadly said,
“If all of us just sit here unread.”
“I’m just a silly rhyming book,
But many a child has had a look.”
“For all my years, nearly each day
I’ve touched a life in some small way.”
“And each of us, dusty, pages curled,
We’ve all changed lives; we’ve changed this world.”
“But if people don’t come through that door,
We will have no purpose anymore.”
The sad book cried, “What shall we do?
With no one to tell our stories to?”
From the highest shelf, the thickest book
Spoke loudly, firmly; the walls all shook.
The others sat in anticipation
Of the old book’s wisdom and consolation.
“All of my family on all of these shelves,
Let us not feel sorry for ourselves.”
“But, let us all, sister and brother,
Tell our stories to one another.”
“And if all of us shall be retired,
Let us at least go out inspired.”
“I believe we’ll find, as each tells our tale,
That spine to spine, we cannot fail.”
“When all of you are finished, friends,
I’ll tell you how my story ends.”
Then, one by one they turned their pages
Telling tales brave and courageous.
The first to speak was the perfect choice
The Diary of Anne Frank, in Anne Frank’s voice
Then The Little Prince, and Tuesdays at Morrie’s –
Heroes and lessons emerged from stories.
A Tale of Two Cities, The Cat in the Hat,
The Art of Happiness, and on like that.
All through the day and nighttime too,
(Books don’t need sleep like you and I do.)
When at last every book was done,
They waited on the ancient one.
“I am the book of things one should never forget,
Of history, and what has not happened yet.”
“For all of this world’s uncertain fear,
Every answer can be found here.”
“We need to know!” the books all said,
“We need to know what lies ahead.”
“Tell us the ending, we cannot take it!”
The wise book simply said, “We make it.”
There was a brief and silent pause
Then from each corner came applause.
From outside came a mighty roar,
The world was colorful once more.
And in every language was a joyful shout –
From each land, each home, the people cried out.
For books don’t talk, and books don’t sing,
Their words come out like a huge bell’s ring.
All over the world, in everyone’s minds
Loud and clear was the sound of chimes.
It was more than tones and chords they heard
It was each book’s message, and each book’s word.
And people had hope that they hadn’t before,
And determination, and love, and more.
Adults and children laughed and cried
And forgot all about being stuck inside.
And they all took comfort, and they all stayed strong,
And they all got by, and all got along.
And the message received by all that day
Was “Everything will be okay.”