And I? Forgot my book.

The television reminds, “Sometimes the stress becomes too much, even for sequoias.”

I cringe and pray the ripped skin on my nails healed over two days, thrice, keeps its red to itself.

“I like the sound. What is that?” Dad asks.

The sureness, trueness of needle through cloth. I readjust the cotton apron clad in ‘x’s that replace inked dotted blue lines. It was for my niece. It is still for my niece just not for the trip that isn’t.

“The needle pulling the thread.”

It’s something to do, but it’s not asking much of myself. And, still, it’s all I ask.

The last time I felt this way it was a hurricane. Six months into my Peace Corps service, rain and mud and hiking socks sodden. Walking was leaving, and following instructions was running. I had no relevant skills nor relationships. But, I had a book. In my backpack, I always had a book.

A book? I crane my neck behind the lamp. The stacks are gone. The library’s closed. In the world of full shelves, somehow those are empty. I drove into town just yesterday. The streets remain full. It’s the parking lots that sit empty.

I tie the knot at the end of the thread. I squint in low light, encouraging the headache to return. It’s a more malevolent glow, the computer screen and hum. The images of salts and sweets. Online the world says it’s baking too, that is, when it’s not reading.

And I? Forgot my Book

And how? How could I forget?

Because books are for travelers, and I never started packing to all the places

that now exist as nowhere to go.

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