The Librarian Returns

quiet please

Vowels and consonants gurgle and spin, vanish
out of reach. Words. I thought they'd come back,
like a stray you feed, like nesting starlings.

But they keep their secrets,
those mean contortionists swim to the surface then drown
don't mind me, too busy flirting with readers.

Behind my desk, I touch and breathe each book,
lush with grease, blood, gravy,
a hundred hands. I let stories come to me:

Madame Bovary, Tom Thumb, Anne of Green Gables.
I can tell a lot about a person from the books they choose.
Even the ordinary have their preferences.

Manners forgotten, I lift a finger.
Shush shush the offender. My pleasure
not in the swirl of imperfect print, but in a job well done

a hushed library.

Belinda Rimmer

If you have any thoughts on this poem,  Belinda Rimmer would be pleased to hear them.