What a Library Can Be | Anne Marie Wells Poetry

Anne Marie Wells
2 min readMar 19, 2022
The iconic blue piano that sits outside of the Sims Library of Poetry

What a Library Can Be

We gather in this place we call a library
but some don’t realize it is also a pool

to dive into new works, dive into new words
that make our new worlds make sense, help us

make change in our communities, make change
in our souls. We have built this church

with our prayers and ideas, with the problems
we’ve overcome, our joy and our grief, our fear

and our love. We’ve laid it all here in these pages,
in these tomes. Within each book is also a home.

Some we visit, some we live in, each one holds
a vision for the person who wrote it

and another for the person who reads it,
yet another for the person who needs it.

We come to this school to learn the art
of alchemy, transforming pain into destiny,

anxiety into harmony. And when the words sought
cannot be caught in the leaves bound

on the shelves, this museum will help
us delve into ourselves to curate

the collection of our own reflection
’til we’re discharged from this hospital

holding in our palms the psalms that healed us. Patients
become doctors letting others feel them, letting others

heal from them. We gather in this place
we call a library, but some don’t realize

just what a library can be.

This poem first appeared in the anthology, Poems in Praise of Libraries edited by Hiram Sims & Karo Ska, for the grand opening of the Sims Library of Poetry in 2021.

To submit to Sims Library’s Poem-a-Week, click here.

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Read more:

Prayers | Anne Marie Wells Poetry
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Anne Marie Wells