The Old Swan Library

The Old Swan Library,
where the air was thick
with silence,
was my Mother's
favourite haunt.
Escaping from the chaos
of her life,
she'd leave us all behind
to go and choose
a book.
From time to time
she'd give the job
to me,
so I would scour the shelves
to find a book
she had not read,
and I could reach.
My playmates
left behind,
with hands still dusty
from the street,
I'd find an old Victorian gem,
and on my tip-toes
hand it to the solemn
lady at the desk
who'd stamp it with a flourish.
The job complete Id leave
the starchiness behind
and run to join the bustling
world outside.
At home mum always looked surprised
to see I'd found her such
a brilliant book.
Then off I'd run to seek my
noisy friends,
with library silence
ringing in
my ears

By Kath Dodd