Heather Harrisson

I've loved reading

I've loved reading forever and a day,
When younger I'd sit for hours,
Reading under the covers,
Sitting up with the stars,

Using lamps, torches, anything,
To read the night away,
To spend time in another world,
To live in a different way,

Climbing trees and riding magic chairs,
Catching thieves muttering spells.
All in my books, or my head,
They taught me oh so well.

I could finish a book in a day,
Several if they were quite small,
I'd whiz through series easily,
Swallowing their contents whole.

Some were favourites, I'd read before,
Always pulling them from their spot,
And stroking their well worn covers,
To enjoy, when sleep I could not.

I'd read words already memorized,
Yet still, fall in love each time,
With each well written character,
Each joke, each laugh, each line.

I raced through shelves and cases,
Of books well above my age,
Learning, drinking in all I could,
Like a bird let loose from a cage.

We didn't have lots of money,
But mum and dad never minded much,
When I wanted a book to read,
They'd try to provide me with such.

Sometimes we would get new ones,
And even before we were home,
I had already studied each page,
Made the story my own.

I would search and hunger for more,
For anything that I could read,
Adventures, tragedies, comedies,
Quickly it became a need.

As my tastes grew and changed,
I tried new styles or types,
I hunted down old, famous ones,
To investigate all of the hype.

Classics, scary, romantic, 
The genre didn't matter,
I'd try each one in it's turn,
Letting my brain become fatter.

I would single out my favourites,
But always look for more,
I could sit for hours quite content,
With a book, or two, or four.

I would live out dreams in the pages,
Fighting pirates and taming monsters,
Helping fairies and toppling kingdoms,
Solving puzzles, tracking down mobsters.

All that I'd never achieve,
I did in the books I read,
And I never felt true loneliness,
All my friends were there in my head.

But after a while it changed,
Not that I wanted it to,
The words they started to blur,
And I didn't know what to do.

It became hard to concentrate,
Words I knew, I couldn't understand,
And this problem wasn't helped,
By the shakiness in both hands.

Reading same lines over and over,
Then dissolving in puddles of tears,
Because even in my darkest nightmares,
I could always read away fears.

Now to sit and read carefully,
Is so hard, so painful to do,
I shiver and clam up and panic,
So frustrated at what I once knew.

I used to read three books a day,
Go through scores at a time,
Now I can barely manage a page,
Before the fog comes, clouding lines.

Thickening with each word,
Scraping the ink off the page,
Blowing each letter to the wind,
No matter how much I might rage.

It tears my soul from within me,
To know my one solace has gone,
That the one thing I've always loved,
Has suddenly gone so wrong.

Have you ever had a dream,
Ripped cruelly from your grasp,
And known its not your fault,
And all you can do is gasp?

Perhaps you can't do sports,
Or have that job you wanted,
Perhaps someone you love,
Has left you feeling affronted.

For me, reading was my world,
My only sanctuary,
My only way of coping,
With this life so big and scary.

I used it to live the dreams,
That my body couldn't handle,
But my health has now snuffed out,
My last and only candle.

I can no longer read,
Without feeling endless fury,
At the cruelty of this world,
That took my love from me.

My best friend for many years,
Loves reading more than I,
And is always asking if,
I've read more books I like.

I haven't been brave enough,
To tell her that I can't,
To explain how much it hurts,
Though I know it's important.

Our love of books together,
Is what has fueled our friendship,
It's what we have in common.
So how can I just ruin it?

Instead I give vague answers,
Like "Oh I just haven't had time!",
Hoping she doesn't find out,
Hoping she wont realise.

It breaks my heart to lie to her,
To tell her I'm ok 
When I'm broken inside and out,
I just don't know what to say.

She doesn't know I'm disabled,
And I can no longer work,
She doesn't know what a struggle,
My life is, how much it hurts.

I can barely get out of bed,
Or make myself something to eat,
Meanwhile she's a librarian,
I mean, how awesome can she be?

I keep this all a secret,
Hidden deep within myself,
I don't want to make her worry,
When she has problems herself.

I feel isolated from her,
And from myself as well,
Its not like me not read,
To not uncover more Intel.

I no longer have a hobby,
That I can call my own,
My whole personality ruined,
In ways I couldn't have known.

So instead of sitting down,
To take in words I don't know,
I write down my own words,
In hope that I can show,

I may not be able to read,
As I did years before,
But that doesn't mean hope is gone,
Or what was all this for?

So instead, I make my own words,
And give them out to you,
So that you can read instead,
Now writing is what I do.

 



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