The Science Fiction convention*
is at the Westin
and I’m in line at the room for readings.
This hour will be Holly Black,
followed by Charlaine Harris.
I strike up a conversation
with a nine year old girl in front of me,
also a Spiderwick fan.
Her aunt works at the hotel —
and yesterday excitedly
contacted her niece in Connecticut.
“If your parents can put you on the bus,
I’ll meet you at south station.”
The girl with long brown hair
has eyes wide
for the strangeness of this crowd,
but we talk favorite passages
across sixty years that don’t matter
in the loving of stories.
I ask whether she is staying
for autographing later
and she shows me a book
dog-eared, dirty, read so many times.
Her aunt breaks in —
lumens proud, she lights the hall —
“Wait. In my car I bought you new copies
of all of them —
new books to sign on a special day.”
I imagine Holly Black would be happy
to see and touch how many times
her books were read,
but I don’t say anything —
because I am seeing a joy here
beyond the turning of pages.
The line moves —
we become a story and Holly reads one.
* Boskone (also Fantasy and Horror as well as Science Fiction)