The World Famous Author I didn’t Quite Meet

March 2, 2018

This day should be remembered each and every year.
For the birth of an author, many of us still hold dear.
Though he’s no longer with us, his books hold renown
When it comes to kid’s lit, Old Doc Seuss holds the crown
But I must add, in a tone of defeat
He’s the most famous author I didn’t quite meet

When I was small, Dr. Seuss was the Man
and I read each of his stories, like a number 1 fan

Like the Sneeches, my belly once had a small star
I recited his rhymes while we rode in the car.
I grew up and learned to love reading aloud
I’d choose Seuss to read to the younger kids crowd

That’s what my job was one year, long ago
At the main library branch in old San Diego
That place hosted a party each Winter to cheer
Any locals who’d published books in the last year.
For the party, my off-day, I agreed to forsake
And serve the literati their coffee and cake

I don’t want to brag, but I must confess,
I looked good that day! I wore my best dress.
I buffed up my nails and styled my hair.
My toes perched in the highest heels they could wear.
I practiced my small talk so it would be blameless
I’d be ready, I thought if I met someone famous.

Tell the truth? That party was a little bit bleak
Most writers, up close, don’t look that unique
A few leaned like beanpoles, several looked squashed.
I can’t say for certain each one of them washed!
But my boss, Lois, welcomed them all like guests in her home
and asked each to speak about his or her tome.

Now none of their books were on best-seller shelves
Most writers had published their books by themselves
Tales like “Granddad Lived his Life As a Bear”
and “Making a Million with Stray Body Hair”
Still, each author stood before us, head held high and proud,
and spoke on his or her story – too long and too loud.

The writers droned on, till I was ready to weep
For my wasted day off and my poor pinched up feet
When between the book stacks I happened to spy
A thick-browed old gent, in a suit and bow tie
Who he was, I wasn’t sure that I knew.
He reminded me of someone…I just didn’t know who.

As another writer described his obsession with warts
My boss leaned over and whispered, “At least that one didn’t wear shorts.”
“Having fun?” she asked. I lied and said “Yes.”
“Well, you’ve worked really hard, in that lovely dress
And because you helped make this day such a treat,
“Come on,” Lois said. “There’s Someone I want you to meet.”

Lois walked and I followed, away from the crowds
And into the stacks, toward the Gent with the Brows.
Lois and he acknowledged each other with smiles
Then she gave me a grin you could see for a mile!
And said with a chuckle that was soft, low and loose
“Ted, Leslie helps here.  Les, meet Dr. Seuss.”

My mouth fell open. My toe-blisters al broke.
The small talk left my head without even a note.
I stared till the man nodded and then looked away
I was facing my hero and I had nothing to say?!
My stomach became lead; my brain turned to glue
I blurted, “IREALLYLOVEDSOLLASALLEW:

And that, dear friends, I am sorry to say
Is all I recall about that fateful day
The memory though can still make me wince
Still, I’ve kept what I learned from that day ever since:
That for my self-respect, and the good of my heart
I avoid the artist when I worship the art.

Yes, the last thing I learned from that wondrous Seuss-man
Is when it comes to writers, I’m just a big fan.

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