The Lunchbreak Reader
(severe apologies to Carl Sandburg)
The reader comes
for a little book treat.
He sits looking
over shoulder and shelf
on long lunches
and then moves on.
Carl Sandburg was an everyday man with poetic tendencies. Whether he was describing Chicago as hog-butcher to the world or the nature of fog, he, like his contemporary, Robert Frost, met readers where they were at.
"Fog" is a delightful poem, using simple imagery. There aren't a lot of words, and the image, at first look, isn't very complex. However, like a haiku poem, there is far more than just the description of the movement of misty air. Fog leaves the natural and becomes surreal and ethereal, but always anchored to the familiar reality we all know.
In my parody, I evoke none of Sandburg's greatness. It is about the corporate office reader, the one who slips in quietly to the lunchroom and sits in sits in the corner reading John Grisham, Stephen King or Jerry Jenkins. He's even been known to pick up an Oprah Book Club title. He could as easily be reading these books in a factory or fast food restaurant. It doesn't matter. But he is the reader who loves to read. Work just gets in the way of finishing books more quickly.
How does he read? With stealth... not because he is hiding, but because he does not want to miss a word. Lunchbreaks are over in a chapter or two, and the library wants the book back in two weeks. The reader might have friends, but that doesn't matter to him at this time. Instead, he sits in that corner, away from anyone who might disturb him, from whomever might slow him down from finding out whodunit.
His lunches probably last longer than they should, and I'm sure he knows it. What can he do? Good books do not tell the whole story in 20 pages, but in 500 pages. There is only one way to get to the last page, and that is by squeezing in every moment of reading he can.
I hope you enjoy my parody.