Noel Sloboda



Yesterday I spied

            a boy stealing books


he couldn’t have been 14

            volumes of Kafka


stuffed under his shirt,

            no regard


for clerks or cameras,

            and I wanted to say


something about laws,

            author rights or libraries;


found only emptiness

            inside my mouth;


remembered when I

            wanted words


enough to put myself

            on the line to


take them






Noel Sloboda lives in Pennsylvania, where he teaches at Penn State York and serves as dramaturg for the Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival. He is the author of the poetry collection,  Shell Games (sunnyoutside, 2008).