The library lingers in the somnolent air of the afternoon.
This morning the reading room and corridor teemed with patrons.
But now there is a melancholy stillness and time slows.
A custodian mops the empty halls in the yellowing light.
The Mid-Manhattan Branch, built in the eighties, strikes a clanging
note of late-century efficiency, crumbling plaster board and meal-colored carpet.
Weirdest is the track lighting, reminiscent of a motel lounge.
The Central Library is a stately palace that bespeaks majesty;
the individual dwarfed by the nobility of blue-gray marble columns
and copious gilt-framed portraiture, by the gewgaws of carved walnut.
Paraphrases from the novel The Laws of Our Fathers by Scott Turow.