My first year of university
I remember going into the bookshop
with a list, buying up all the textbooks
I needed in one go, the cashier neatly
stacking them together, putting them
through the till, the beeps, the prices
flashing up in LED lights.
Then riding home on the bus
on the back seat, me and my books
heavy in the bag against my leg
the day was unusually hot
the sun lit up the harbour as the
old Bedford rumbled over the bridge.
Carrying my books from the bus-stop
down the steep hill to my parents’ house
sitting down taking them all out
one by one, flicking through the pages
smelling the covers, reading the blurbs
I didn’t know then what I was in for
all those years of academia ahead.
A lot of time has passed; I sit again
with a stack of books, some of them
from that day, their pages browned
by the sun, the dust ingrained in the
covers from all that time on the shelf
neglected. I open one up randomly
it’s a poem I read a long time ago
a lecturer tried to explain it to us
and when I wrote about it he said
I’d missed the point. But it moves me
still to this day.