I know how lucky I am. I get to go into a bookstore every single day. In these coronavirus days, that’s something special. Admittedly, I know this time is a setback. I certainly never imagined I would end up closing down for weeks and possibly months this soon after becoming the owner of a bookstore. But life’s lemons make sweet lemonade if you know the recipe, and for me, that recipe includes a lot of books and time.
Today, I will go back to the bookstore. I will sit behind my desk and do paperwork and hope the phone will ring. I will spend some time dusting and rearranging shelves. And I will spend some time just sitting silently. But I won’t be alone.
An Empty Bookstore
By Michelle Garren Flye
An empty bookstore is still quite full.
Just sit silent and listen for a minute.
You’ll find the characters of another soul
Acting stories for your entertainment.
Look there! It’s Hazel from Watership Down!
He’d best watch out, McGregor’s not picky—
Peter Rabbit escaped and ran into town,
And farmers say all pesky rabbits are tricky.
In a quiet corner, the Little Women gather.
Meg, Jo, Amy, Beth dream dreams of future days.
I wonder what they’d think of today, whether
Marmee would approve of our wayward ways?
Curious George flies a kite with Paddington Bear,
Ignoring Jekyll’s Hyde lurking in the shadows.
Scarlett O’Hara ponders which dress to wear
While Atticus Finch seeks to deal legal blows.
Over yonder lies Dracula’s coffin in state
And don’t forget to check in on Miss Havisham.
Now that you’re ready to flee, just wait—
Anne Shirley is here with green egg’s Sam.
The longer you sit quiet in this empty place
The more peopled you’ll find it is in the end.
You know, you can do the same in your own space?
Books are all you need to make a friend.