In early spring it was joyful to knit yarn in brilliant tropical shades, Claire mused, as she extracted her project, a purple-red cottony tote-bag, from her desk in the Children's Room. Exuberant as bougainvillea, the tote would accompany her to the beach, holding lotions, towel, and paperback.
Claire always knitted at work. Once libraries were places to borrow books. In this high-tech age they'd been repurposed. When kids visited, they'd mainly use the computers. Claire watched them, wondering anew how literate the future would be.
The library closed in two hours. Save for the tap of Claire's needles, the Children's Room was quiet. Nothing to shelve, scarcely any kids. Except for shy little Luz, at the corner table.
The library was Luz's babysitter. Afternoons, Claire saw her run from an idling car to the library door. Evenings, she'd often see Luz waiting outside, scanning the road. Claire would stay until Luz's ride arrived. "The library closes at eight," Claire always said. Luz's mother always replied, "Thank you."
Lately Luz seemed forgetful. When Claire tidied, she'd found Luz's pencils, stickers, plastic barrettes. Tonight was no different. At closing, Luz hurriedly gathered her things and scooted. Afterwards Claire discovered Luz's homework.
My Mother's Job
My Mother works at a restaurant. She is a waitress. It is a tiring job. When I asked her what is her favorite thing about work, she said it was coming to get me from my afterschool because the two of us could be together.
Closing Luz's notebook, Claire put it in the drawer with her knitting. The tote bag would be finished tomorrow, and Claire now knew its future would be different. Tomorrow she'd give it to Luz, the notebook tucked safely within.
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All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
A story by Selma Moss-Ward.
Selma Moss-Ward is a freelance writer who combines her love of writing and of knitting in her columns, stories, and blog posts. Selma is also an active classical musician and the caretaker of five wonderful pets. She lives with them and her husband in Rhode Island.