An hour south of Wall Street,
past tulips, toddlers on swings,
cyclists, runners, Frisbees tossed
by girls in shimmering orange shorts,
I walk to the Institute library
to borrow the Shorter O.E.D.
laid by to welcome my stay.
A lay guest here before,
haunted by my familiar hissing
You have no business in this place;
today a librarian’s courtesy,
and spring, rout the devil at my ear,
and for an afternoon depose the fear
you’re a wannabe from a trading floor.
Sonnet to be published in The Institute Letter, quarterly publication of the Institute for Advanced Study (summer 2016).