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
- 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.