• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 10


I remember my grandmother's room,
the thick walls with their shuttered windows,
the fireplace so deep and wide
that you could step onto the hearth,
look up and see the sky.
The roll top desk, the deep padded sofa,
the bookshelves that lined the walls
from floor to ceiling.

That was where I learned to read.
I could make out words before that,
string together a sentence,
understand the thread of a story.
Of course I could, my parents taught me.

But real reading - falling in love with words,
with the magic of words, the weight of a book
spread across my open palms - that came later.
In my grandmother's room stories swirled
around my head, weaving their way into the air I breathed.
I discovered that even the plainest room can become a jungle,
even the darkest corner can become a moonlit sky.
A cottage on a hillside can become a busy city bar,
a highrise flat can become a beach hut.
Between the pages of a book I can be teacher or taught,
chef or diner, criminal or detective.
I can be wolf, or bird, or whale.
Between the pages of a book I can be loved.