A teenager, chewing a pencil, looking out of the window
memorising the periodic table, while the muffled drones
of pop songs, bleed out of her earphones.
A man, with a grey complexion, at computer number one,
surfs the web for a Wonga loan, coughing up his lungs, he’s a
two-finger typist, bashing the keys like a tap-dancing ostrich.
An older gentleman, eloquently spoken, chats to the librarian
He declares that the healthcare in Sweden is better than in Scotland.
It has taken him eight weeks to get a podiatry appointment.
Did you know? In Leningrad, smoking is prescribed, as an antidote, to cyanide.
He asks politely, for a book on Fly Fishing, by J.R. Hartley.
The new Mums with their babies come in on a Wednesday.
Prams clogging up the doorway, a new generation of book bugs
bouncing. Heads, shoulders, knees and toes - Peter Rabbit fly on nose.
The babies start crying when their Mothers start singing.
The librarian’s uniform is a blue fleece jumper, with no sleeves -
like shuffling books all day keeps your arms warm anyway.
They moan, Patricia has gone part-time and there’s no annual leave,
give other examples, of the budget cuts by the council.
I’m staging a protest in the library - a silent protest - quiet please
give me space to read, browse the paltry selection of poetry
I’m chaining myself to the adult fiction section,
barricading the doors with the self-check-out system,
waiting for Godot as I gain some relief, from this war on peace.
In between the check-in beeps and book requests, in from the rain
pensioners catch up on news, chit chat, use the internet,
book a holiday, email their family, find a course on genealogy.
In the children’s area, a toddler cuddled in a corner, fumbling through
the cardboard pages of the Hungry Caterpillar. Her brother, dressed as
Harry Potter, hangs out with superheroes, while colouring in pictures
of dinosaurs. He learns how to write his name in bright blue crayon.
I sit quietly, watching the heart of my community, love their local library
and if it was ever to be taken away;
I will stage a protest
I will not be silent.