Originally published on The Unread Book

Long did she stare at the books
Beyond the shiny glassdoors
Reluctant to enter those massive aisles
Not capable of holding herself back
From stealing a copy or two
Wishing for the umpteenth time
She had the money to buy a few

The last time, she’d entered the shop
She’d glanced around furtively
picking up a copy of her favorite Poe poems
And stuffed it under her frock
Tucking it away hastily in her ragged camisole

But she hadn’t escaped
the grumpy owner’s gaze
The book snatched
Insults slammed
Grabbed by the wrist
And led out of the shop

With tears and heightened craving
For her most beloved possession
She had left the shop
without so much as looking back
So much pain and shame
all for her love for books

Unquenched
unsatiated is her hunger
for the stories 
and the words  galore
Yet never daring to enter those pristine
bookshops any more

~~~~~

Asha Seth