by Richard Vince

Even from here, I can
Hear the pages being turned...
The gentle scrape of
Paper upon paper, followed by
A rush of sweeping air
Culminating in a splash
As it lands on its neighbour.

The words and numbers on
The end of the shelf are
Too small to be read by my
Naked eye from its favoured
Location adjacent to
A window on a darkening world.

But my view of the fluorescent
Light reflected from dark hair
And dust jackets is perfect
As I allow my tightly coiled
Mind to unwind itself and
Try to wrap around distant
Thoughts as tired eyes search
First for books, then for
Somewhere to read them.

The carpet seems to stretch out
For miles to where she stood
To seek out wise words;
Its hues blend subtly where
Light creeps around walls
And bookshelves, and sharply
Where other shelves once stood.

The soft, persistent hum of
The air conditioning seems to
Jar with bare bricks that
Almost make me feel that
I am floating in the dense
Spring air thirty feet above
The Earth. But I am
Imprisoned in an ugly building,
With ten score fellow captives
Who are soon to be released
From this trial to face the next.


Posted on 04/25/2005
Copyright © 2022 Richard Vince

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