In the Library                                                                                                                                                 Posted 3rd October 2013

In the library the first time
I stood in a pool of awe.
Wonder for taking, acres of promises.
The lady with the specs
And the hair-tuft on her cheek
Asking me if I had washed my hands.
The holy ritual of the water - what was this?
Superstitious as a Goth, I grabbed and ran.
At the bus-stop I discovered I had looted
A book about a girls' school. It was good.

Ridiculous, small moment but it stays.
Seed of an anger perennially mine.
The hope I lugged to that place
Back and forth and afterwards
Brought to how many books...
Raising my eyes
From several million pages I have seen
That small boy standing there.

The time it took
The fields there were to cut, the loads to carry
Hutches to be filled
The roads to lay
The tired nights in narrow beds, the rage
To bring him to his patch of floor,
His eyes like begging bowls.

I don't forgive
The determined absence of himself he was to find.
The self-perpetuating silliness, the cliques
Of convoluted silences, the lies,
The long articulate anathema
Against him and his pals.
They were nowhere to be seen unless those bits
Between the lines and down the edges
Were for them.

No wonder they drew graffiti in the margins.