Mobile library — 1970

We were in VISTA when it really was a domestic Peace Corps. We taught in the schools, developed marketing for a native crafts store, and in the summer I drove a makeshift bookmobile, carrying books in cardboard boxes out to kids in the Ozark foothills, offering summer reading to kids in virtually bookless homes.


A pick-up filled

with bright, shiny new

double-paned windows


drives slowly, looking

for a windowless house,

reminding me of


inherent windows

on the sunlit world of words

carried in a truck.


Boxes in a van,

sliding side to side down road

not ever surfaced


with even gravel,

rutted by the spring rains there

in Ozark foothills.


Board-bound windowpanes;

paper pages inside cloth,

promising riches


to those kids who’d look

through, expanding vision from

these surrounding hills,


whose chief industry

consisted of growing and

processing chickens.


But inside boxes

shifting with the rutted roads

lay windows and keys,


new paths opening

to a brighter future than

Northwest Arkansas


could possibly give

those who were confined by these

low, rolling mountains.



2 Comments|Add your own comment below

  1. Great poem! Love your analogies of windows & keys! Love you.

    1. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it and happy to hear that your foot is healing. Hope it’s able to bear weight quickly!
      Snowing heavily here, and looking like the third day this week I’ll miss work due to ice and snow. And we were almost to spring…

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