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.