The high stacks of neglected books
Stayed connected to each other,
My father scanned them with bird’s eyes
Choosing, observing and patient.
I would lose my patience,
“Can we go?”
“Just wait a little more.”
I was surprised at how he could spend so long
In a second hand bookstore.
But it smelled good.
The old books had a certain smell
That ripened with age
I would finally regain my normalcy
Once we stepped out
And the smell faded from my nostrils.
Often at times, he would get me books.
One a day, sometimes two or three.
Like a hornbill, he made sure
That I had my necessary supplies.
My mother would get mad at him.
“How many more books do you want?
We won’t even have space to sleep!”
He’d remain silent, and get back to his chair,
With a book.
Now I do the same.
Scanning, observing and patient,
I scrutinise the books in old book stores
And I stock up the house.
My father smiles to himself I’m sure,
“Haha, now what will you say lady?”
But she doesn’t stop.
She’s my mother after all.
And this is our family.