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One Perfect Day by Catherine Watson

Catherine Watson is the editor of the Bass Coast Post and recent winner of the Intricate Birdcage Competition.

 

One perfect day

A library in lockdown.

A perfect place for those who

love the books but not

so much the borrowers

 

For a precious week between

the lockdown and the “new normal”

they had this hallowed house

of learning to themselves.

 

No hyped up teens hung round

the entrance F-ing and C-ing.

Mr Bennett didn’t return the DVD case

without the thing that goes inside.

 

Mrs Brown didn’t rip out the crosswords

behind a discreet cough or slip

the Green Guide inside the

front cover of Fifty Shades.

 

The newspapers are folded

neatly, in the right order,

crosswords and TV listings intact.

today’s edition is on the top.

 

The spines align, the order’s perfect,

starting from computer science &

general works (000.01) right through

to extraterrestrial worlds (999.99)

 

Every book in place between

Antti Amatus Aarne’s folk tales

and Stefan Zweig’s World of Yesterday,

just behind Markus Zusak’s new one.

 

It was such a perfect day.

They went home full of

A quiet contentment and

Dreamt contented dreams

 

The next morning they

looked around one last time

and saw that it was good.

Remember this, they said.

 

Then opened the doors

and let the barbarians in.

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