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Monday, 10 September 2012

Towards the exit

I find a book on Shakespeare’s life, misplaced
in the Cookery section.  No worries.
Here’s a blue corner chair, a vase
of optimistic daffodils on a windowsill,
and an hour to laze through glossed pages.

A woman with a stick and a wheeze tugs
herself up the ramp to Fiction.  She smiles
to find new romance in ‘Recently Returned’
and leans against a pillar for the first pages
in which Marion flies to Morocco with a sad heart.

A young man, tall, unshaven, taps
his dreams into an online form. He bends
towards the screen as if in prayer
to a fickle deity, scrolling up and
down for errors, for slips, for what’s missing.

A child in denim dungarees, perches
on the chair opposite me.  The mother
browses the shelves while his fat fingers
trace a dragon’s tail across the page
and he points out green and blue to us all.

Two men, both in sturdy boots, shed
mud in ‘Crime’ while swapping views on
Rankin -

- The library will close in five minutes -

Clutching Shakespeare and Marion
in Morocco and dreams and dragons
and a Rebus mystery (and a leaflet on cuts
from a table near the door)
we all sigh towards the exit.

© Fran Hill

Laureate issues library challenge to Culture Secretary

Fran lives in the West Midlands (UK). She teaches English in a local secondary school, writes, performs, blogs, tweets and tries to resist chocolate.


Little Nell said...

Nicely done Fran. I had a perfect picture in my mind of all these characters. I hope they don't have to sigh much more.

Fran said...

Thanks, Little Nell. I'm glad they came over clearly.

Anonymous said...

Hello Fran.
The pace reflects the calm of a lbrary.
This, for me, is radio voice, I can imagine it being read and being very clear.

Fran Hill said...

Thanks, NL. That's a really nice comment. I actually read it out loud (to myself ...) to see how it sounded. I think the way it sounds is half the battle with a poem.

broken biro said...

Have you been lurking in my library? It's all there - right down to the survey about cuts which we started handing out to borrowers this week.

Fran said...

No, haven't been lurking. Call it an educated guess!

Charlotte said...

Thank you Fran.

I am trying to take my year 6 class to the library at least once a fortnight for a reading session. How can we close such vital institutions when I have an 11 year old who knows her library number by heart.

broken biro said...

I find most 11 year olds know their library card number. (Although to be fair it's because most of them have lost their actual card!)