I have recently moved to Austin, TX and find myself searching for new ways to explore children’s literature, this time outside of teaching. I am looking into positions in after school programs, cafes, and of course, bookstores! One bookstore I am applying to, named Book People, asks their applicants to be creative with their cover letters. I decided to write a poem.
Book people do not float, buoyant.
They sink deep, diving into reefs of words and worlds,
Trying on a pair of shoes and goggles for a day or two.
Book people do not float, aimless.
They’re out to explore, out to soar, twisting through time and space,
Peeking into black holes, succumbing to magnetic pulls.
Book people do not float, empty.
They are layered, checkered, dressed and decked with thoughts and ideas,
Spinning from fairy tale but grounded, planted, in our real world realms.
Book people do not float, away.
They live to share, lay their pages to bare for hearts and minds
Reaching, wanting a friend, a treasure, a beginning, an end.
Book people do not float, alone.
They build a story, find themselves unfolding in a cast of characters.
Creating an incident, a door, a change to who they were before.
Book people do not float.
They move. They think quick, pin their hearts wide, cast a net over their tomes and add, add, add all the time. They listen, reach for others on a road, gentle, hopeful. They watch over thousands of children, see them comfortably to the shelves, then giddily into new hands. Book people love and risk and care.
I am Book people. I belong here.