Library Closure by Beth Allison

Role: the leader

Uniform: authority, composure, promises

My decision is final – it has to be done

Cutbacks, austerity, economic downturn

We’re all in this together: Southern farmers to Northern industrialists; working to upper classes

My decision is final – it has to be done

I am the face of power.

 

* * *

 

I am the porridge-stained streak racing across the playground

The silent swish of a pigtail bobbing beside the sandbox.

I am the library’s nightly visitor

Curled up in a corner, lost in a fairytale

I am just a child:

I am powerless in the face of power.

 

I am the ugly duckling, hiding in a pack of swans

The loner, the loser; trying to fit in yet fade out.

I am the library’s weekly pilgrim

At home in an ocean of written words

I am just a teenager:

I am powerless in the face of power.

 

I am the ten ’til two cashier; the five ’til eight salesgirl

The nine and three school run, making my life and nurturing another.

I am the library’s afternoon arrival

Finding solace in the post-school activities

I am just a working mother:

I am powerless in the face of power.

 

* * *

 

Role: the leader

Uniform: icy, detached, lies crackling like broken glass

His decision is final – it shouldn’t have to be done

Cutbacks, austerity, economic downturn

We’re all in this together – somehow that doesn’t seem the case

His decision is final – it shouldn’t have to be done:

We are powerless in the face of power.