At the Library

by Melanie Wittwer

In her head she sits perfectly still
The coarseness of the tree bark
Prints pretty patterns
On her back

The rustling of paper
Faint autumn symphony
At the periphery
Of her thoughts

The last of the summer sunshine
Warms her hands resting
On an open book
On her lap

The scent of leaves fragrant
With knowledge rises
Barely detectable from the
Dimly lit walls

That is where they keep them now
Electronically controlled air
Keeps them
From disintegrating

In houses
paper is too much
Of a precious kindling
To stand a chance
Of survival.

Alice steps off the treadmill
In the library fitness room
Time for a break
The beeper suggests

Someone has written on the wall
Of the toilet cubicle:

”Only when the last tree has been felled
… you know, that thing that crazy American dude said …
will we realize that a Kindle doesn’t burn very well. LOL”

It said all that

Alice’s hand reaches
To the left
No paper

She returns
To the brightly lit room
Into a cloud of sweat
And mood inducing scent

She straps on
Her reading device

The world around
Abuzz with static

She stares at the screen
Devoid of direction
Her memory blank
Her battery flat.


One thought on “At the Library

  1. Zee

    Melanie, this is a great poem. You lead us in gently to the reality of the ‘narrator’ and her world, and end strongly. Excellent use of metaphor to create imagery. Really fantastic – a big thumbs up!


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