A poem to celebrate National Poetry Day, Libraries Week and 88 year olds everywhere
I wrote this poem, which was published in MsLexia magazine, after seeing a news clip about an 88 year old lady. She had recently learned to read and had therefore discovered a whole new world of stories. You can see the news report by clicking on the link under the poem.
Once upon a time
Once upon a time, all she could do
was drift her hands along each silent spine
or turn hieroglyph pages like a visitor
lost in the streets of a foreign land,
her forehead a frown of lines –
a message of bewilderment she hoped
others could not read.
Then, like whispers, or baby footsteps,
or leaves dropping like scraps of tissue
kissed by an infinitesimal breeze,
shapes on pages birthed sounds on her lips -
each day a new one, a tiny gift –
and in her mind, dragons, heroines,
castles, pirates, the sighs of reunited lovers.