Wednesday, 6 April 2016

opposite the library (poem)

a section of my own library

opposite the library

I've lived long enough now
for everything to remind me
of something else.

Like that girl walking past in the duffle coat
who brings to mind a friend
when she was that age,

so easily embarrassed she'd hide
in the wardrobe
when under pressure to share.

Which in turn reminds me of when the Y-dub
was opposite the library
before it moved

up the road a bit,
decades ago. Yet today
here I am, opposite

the library again, years later, in a cafe,
watching people outside wearing purple
and a man in black and silver

as if he's been picked up
from off the floor
of a film-cutting studio.

The more swinging gulls I watch
slicing into both sunshine
and shadow,

the more people in plush pink
tops making their way
down the neat, brick steps

of a library yet to get old;
yet to stop reminding
me of friends

past and present; 
the more I am reminded
of how slippery time

and how one day
a child may ask, What's a book?
The longer I sit here, the more people

move, down the steps
as quick as goats,
as tenderly as cats.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Dear Reader,

I was sitting here feeling virtuous, writing my poem for the day after having gone into town and back again by bus and successfully completing my day's mission ...when the phone rang.

It was a friend reminding me of a meeting that we had both forgotten.

I felt as if my seemingly perfect day had suddenly sunk in the middle. Like a sponge cake that looked fine, but when tested, proved to be still raw in the middle.

Ironically the poem I was writing was all about time and memory ... Life imitating art. 



Avus said...

"What's a book". Have you ever read "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury? If not, I recommend it to your poetic mind.

Kay Cooke said...

Avus - Thanks. I have never read Bradbury despite millions of people recommending him; I must one day - I'll head for that story first.

McDinzie said...

Nice poem. Love the sponge cake as well :-)

Kay Cooke said...

McDinzie - Thanks!

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