Peeping Pines

The pines are looking in the windows
Catching a glimpse of the people
Who may have sat under them sometime
And stare back; giant green clusters
Peek at glass and brick, and to strangers
Planting their feet on the floor, as sturdy as roots
As if parts of them had sunk into the tiles as earth
Some, arched back, stretching a little closer
Reaching out winged arms, beckoning their subjects
Bidding them enter the yard, the courtyard
And lean on solid timber in the chill
Icy, barren of ice, but with a breeze
Sharpening our fingertips as pencils
Dry leaves dance, autumn's haunting ghosts
Of seasons past and days of greenery
Crackling tumbleweeds born of deciduous parents
No bench but that which sits by chance
A stone that squats, gray and afraid
Amongst its silent court of pebbles
Pine cones, dry needles, and dusty, cracked ground
As though the weight of giants crumbled its form
And left in their wake a bitter burn

Echoes in the Hallway

Quiet is a bad word in the hallway
Music becomes more alive than some of the people who hear it
There are cries of laughter at things you wouldn't understand
It's a private joke, or you had to be there
Can't stay in one place, have to act out or gesture
Before you remember what it meant
No one seems to be alone but me
Even the other library exiles come in pairs or threes
Some are writing work that's likely due next period
And some go in and out, disappearing into the cafeteria
To mingle more than the foyer crowd allows
Some flitting about from group to group
Exchanging words and answers, one at a time
There are congregations on the benches
Calling across the floor to those in other places
Pivoting on one foot or leaning on walls
Intently listening to what another said and did
Arguments and mock fights ensue
Dashing, turning, and blocking missed-on-purpose strikes
While faithful friends restrain the careless blows
A group at the phone makes change for one of their friends
Nobody sits perfectly still, exempting breathing and blinking
And then the time is marked to scatter
To the places where our presences are required