I didn’t know that I was lonely,
I’m not sure when it all began,
I never thought I needed others,
So it’s hard to understand
The how and why these altered feelings
Have changed my life which has always been
I thought that books were all I’d need
To befriend me, to favorite authors who
Would guide me as I traveled
From the early Alcott’s Little Women,
The first book my mother bought for me
One Christmas. For a while it was my
Only book—so I read it over and over again–
To my first five Nancy Drew’s that
My brother Jim somehow managed to get for
Me another Christmas.
I have never been satisfied
just to read them,
Books were a major part of my life
And I wanted to own them.
But now…as I turned seventy-seven,
I am beginning to feel that
Books are no longer the greatest
Part of the love of a book
Is being able to tell someone about it.
Joy was having a partner who
Loved books as much as I
And now he is gone—
And I didn’t know
That I was lonely
And now I am.
—Sandra Lee Smith