The old library

The old library

She stood at a dark corner
overlooking a busy street in the CBD;
akimbo and aghast,
anxious and envious
of the other buildings across the street,
that still had signs of life.
Her windows resembled gaping sockets
on a skeletal vertebrate,
with a fixed, vacant stare;
at anything
and at everything;
at anyone
and at everyone;
at hurrying feet which didn’t care;
busy bodies minding their own businesses,
chasing and fleeing their pasts and futures
with reckless regard to the present.

She shivered in trepidation,
and buckled in dilapidation,
as her walls cracked with sad laughter,
as her roof creaked and cranked
and she cringed with fear of the unknown.
Like a loathed outcast,
she surrendered to her fate,
affording a quarter moon smile,
as if ageing was something to enjoy.
The wheels of remembrance turned
like the pages of a playbook
as she recalled the many playboys
who broke her heart and defiled her womanhood,
before turning their backs on her,
leaving her doors ajar,
and giving room to thugs and burglars –
ruthless infidels and insiders,
to page and purge her most treasured secrets.

Her tummy rumbled and crumbled,
with no single reader to digest!
as her lungs gathered dust like a forgotten scroll.
Thousands of lifeless books lay scattered
on her dust infested floor.
A stale odour of decaying mukwa
and remnants of the mighty mahogany,
the pine and the papyrus,
brought to the fore old memories;
of memoirs and diaries,
of novels and journals,
of biographies and autobiographies,
of newspapers and magazines,
of dictionaries and directories,
of encyclopedias in obsoletion –
everything that passed through her;
The odour spoke of the same cruel fate;
censorship,
oblivion
and dereliction of the creative.

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