For the last day of Banned Books Week

I expect people to take a page out of my book,
but not the book out of my hands,

not any of them –
the censored ones I love,
the condemned ones that put me to sleep
(here’s looking at you, DH Lawrence)
the banned ones
that I actually don’t like,
|but am glad that you do.

OK I was in fourth grade
when I checked out “The Scarlet Letter”
and had to ask what ‘adultery’ means,
so a little early maybe …

but taking history and truth away,
shutting discussion down,
plucking fictional protagonists out
because of their identity
and whole books unsampled
just because of who wrote them?

I give thanks for the courage of librarians,
feel empathy and anguish
for the terrible dilemmas of teachers,
offer kudos to bookstores
and free book programs,

and want to offer all of us
the next chapter, the one called change,
and a way to “jump off the page”
like words do,

into the mind, into the heart.

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5 Responses to For the last day of Banned Books Week

  1. Nancy Donovan says:

    My mother’s response to the librarian who advised her I was reading in the adult section:
    “If she understands it, she’s old enough- if she doesn’t, no problem.”

  2. Joyce Ray says:

    Bravo! Wonderful poem. Reposting.

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