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