For Valerie, who took me to Utah and encouraged me to avoid this fate with The Hunger Games. I thank her for being so wonderful, for sharing so much with me, and wish her a very wonderful 26th birthday.
Once Again I Fail to Read an Important Novel
Instead, we sit together beside the fountain,
the important novel and I.
We are having coffee together
in that quiet first hour of the morning,
respecting each other's silences
in the shadow of an important old building
in this small but significant European city.
All the characters can relax.
I'm giving them the day off.
For once they can forget about their problems—
desire, betrayal, the fatal denouement—
and just sit peacefully beside me.
In the afternoon,
at lunch near the cathedral,
and in the evening, after my lonely,
historical walk along the promenade,
the men and women, the children
and even the dogs
in the important, complicated novel
have nothing to fear from me.
We will sit quietly at the table
with a glass of cool red wine
and listen to the pigeons
questioning each other in the ancient corridors.
by George Bilgere
From Haywire. © Utah State University Press
Courtesy The Writer’s Almanac