Tzàijiàn to Gail
Gail, so it’s true
you will soon be gone
from the tu-shu-guan.
Gail Oman King, as you bail,
as you sail, please avail
yourself of the omens on the homeward trail:
the stars have aligned as a sign
that it’s time to decline
confinement or alignment or consignment
to any more HBLL assignments:
high time to define how to spend more time
with your family line.
Frankly we thank you,
for books and serials you got,
materials you bought,
myriads you brought
from Australia, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Afghanistan,
Guam, Samoa, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan,
from Cambodia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Tonga,
Vietnam, China, Korea and Japan.
You’ve been so infinitely diligent,
you are the significant equivalent of caviar
but subtle and nowhere as salty,
cause you’re humble and not at all faulty.
If you were an unambivalent instrument,
you’d be a magnificent Stradivarius guitar,
you straddle many areas, you have so far.
You took much more than occasional looks at the Asian books,
you are above par, simply a biblio-rock-star, amazing blazing star,
you are a Tesla car, an extra-tested, blessedly impressive luxury car
but more subtle and not as flashy,
cause you’re humble and never sassy.
The red ink of our rhetoric has gone too far,
but you unswervingly deserve a sky-high diamond tiara –
and so we say: Sayonara.
May a core of enormously good fortune come your way evermore,
say we who were formerly known informally as Mormons,
but wow, here and now, anyhow,
to thee and thou,
a Queen among Kings,
let’s just say, mm, Ciao.
- Richard Hacken, 2019.