Borrow. A poem by Rosie Miles

What does it mean, the children ask, borrow a book?
Why borrow when you can buy everything – print on demand –

from a warehouse the size of the amazon rainforest
or download to read later?  They laugh when we say we

used to walk to a building where you could ‘borrow’ books.
The brown packages tumble through the letterbox:

as if they’d ever give them back!  The boy skims through
a billion pages.  The girl fondles her kindle like a wounded pet.

They look up at us and smile, their eyes shining pixels:
what does it mean, the last library has shut tight?

We try to explain.  Date stamps flicker on their lashes.

Rosie Miles (February 2011)


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  1. Pingback: ‘CUTS’ by Rosie Miles | Birmingham Libraries Campaigns

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