The first book

Jessie Willcox Smith, illustration for The Bed-Time Book, by Helen Hay Whitney, 1907

Open it.

Go ahead, it won’t bite.
Well…maybe a little.

More a nip, like. A tingle.
It’s pleasurable, really.

You see, it keeps on opening.
You may fall in.

Sure, it’s hard to get started;
remember learning to use

knife and fork? Dig in:
you’ll never reach bottom.

It’s not like it’s the end of the world –
just the world as you think

you know it.

Rita Dove - The first book, extrait de On the bus with Rosa Parks 
 (W.W. Norton & company, New York, NY, 1999)