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Library silence

Silence is overbearing in a library. 

It hangs like heat. 

Unassuming sounds become crude: 

a bag unzipping, 

a seat shuffling, 

a person breathing. 

Only frenetic fingers hopping 

from key to key will do. 

The swoosh of trouser legs 

may get a pass, 

since books make no effort 

to land on your lap. 

Only working sounds suffice, 

as they say: the devil makes 

work for idle hands.  

Though it may be the case anyway, 

if one believes tutors 

are of Satan’s stock. 


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