They Told Us…
They told us, when we read at night, weak torchlight
glowing underneath the sheets: your eyes will wear out.
Back then, enclosed inside the story, we’d risk anything
to reach the finish line, could not rest until the closure
of an ending, happy or sad.
We looked for answers in the printed word, preferred
the black and white of text to hillside, seaside, cityscape.
Our imaginations stirred, made stages for the worlds
created by those who spun a tale, or rhymed a rhyme,
or made us laugh.
Escapist, maybe. But there were situations we needed
to escape: unhappiness, or tedium, bullying or worse.
What we learned allowed us to prepare. Confined
in our provincial towns, we wanted more. Our eyes
were opened there, along the dusty shelves
and they will never close.