Jim Yerman


Kafka Who?


I started a new job in a bookstore, an Antiquarian bookstore to be exact
This means there are very old and used books sprinkled throughout our stacks.

I love books and I like to read but I wouldn’t consider myself well-read
When I was working I was lucky to finish a page or two once my body hit the bed.

Still I I like Arthur Conan Doyle’s smarts and a good Shakespearean tragedy
And I’ve always thought Harlan Coben writes a wonderful mystery.

I haven’t read many of the classics I wouldn’t know Salinger from Dostoyevsky
But still, I am a reader, I simply like to read books that appeal to me.

“Shakespeare.” I said yesterday when a young woman asked what author I like to read.
“Shakespeare! ” she sneered, “That’s a safe choice” as the man who came with her agreed.

“I also like Arthur Conan Doyle, ” I retorted “his Sherlock Holmes sure was a whiz...”
“Another safe call she interrupted.” It’s obvious I was flunking her quiz.

Have you ever read Kafka she inquired, wondering if I was at all evolved
“Kafka who? ” I paused as I thought for a second. “How many crimes has he solved? ”

She smirked as I rang up The Metamorphosis then quickly went on her way
I thanked her as she reached the doorway and bid her to have a nice day.

I thought about her for a moment as down the street she and her boyfriend strolled.
Kafka said if a person keeps the ability to see beauty then that person never grows old.

For he knew that finding beauty is important in this world in which we all delve
But he also knew it’s important to let others find beauty for themselves.

I hope the ability to find beauty will someday ride happily on that woman’s shoulders
Because to my eyes as she walked out of the store she seemed just a little bit older.

Oh I may someday pick up Kafka myself but it won’t be to make someone feel small.
Who knows, he writes such nice things about beauty, maybe he fights crime after all.

Submitted: Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, February 04, 2014

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