My libraries were never silent

They were rarely even quiet

When the kids came down from the flats because they had never held a book someone else hadn’t read before them they would chatter and their mothers would scold

I wish I could say I never minded

Never judged those who came in and only checked out DVDs

But I came from a house of books

So in that House of Books

I felt superior.

My library now is full of children too

And women scolding them

And young men speaking Urdu

And old men with nowhere else to go

I live in a flat with so few books in it now

So in this House of Books

I feel at home.