by Lauren Teh (United Arab Emirates)
Audio: "Library," read by Lauren Teh
Soft sliding susurrations, light lift of page,
A sigh, a huff, a breath, murmurs in the murky quiet,
Rustling, shuffling, low thunder of a rolling ladder,
A blurted sentence, shhh, muffling curtain of silence.
Broken intermittently with creaks of rusted lamp joints, squealing—
Footsteps, echoing down the aisles, ricocheting off the high ceiling arches
Tuff, tuff, tuff, hush! Absorbed by fabric-bound spines, standing proud,
Lined up on infinite shelves, yawning down the literary corridor of the ages—
Clatter of a dropped pen, careless student cramming, crying indistinguishably.
The books bend close, whispering inaudibly little nothings of comfort:
Hush, hush, hush, you’re not alone.
Lauren Teh is a 15-year-old writer from Singapore. Born, raised, and currently based in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, Lauren is a huge bookworm and loves to write short stories, essays, and half-hatched novels with a touch of magic and a good sprinkle of wordplay shenanigans. In her poem “Library,” she attempts to recreate the quiet yet vibrant atmosphere of a library and provide some assurance to the terrified students like herself.
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5/17/22, 4:27 PM
5/16/22, 11:40 AM
I am waiting with anxiety what does she doesto fight back these things which are very complicate to handle for a teenager...... I am Very anxious because I am in the same situation..... So I want to know what will she do.....
5/15/22, 3:16 PM
This is such a wonderful piece. I love it so much!
Rain Wind Thunderstorm
5/13/22, 10:46 AM
You are really good at writing. And at such a young age! If you don't mind me saying so, your writing style is warm and cozy. And also at the same time, very deep, meaningful and relatable. I especially loved the "The Reflection" part.
5/13/22, 9:28 AM
I really wanna know what does she does to fight back these things which are hard to handle for a teenager.
5/11/22, 2:37 PM
I loved every word of this. Maybe because I am relating too hard. I hardly possess any of the love or filial piety I am expected to have towards my family. I am dubious of anything my grandmother says to me and have long learned to just swallow it all with a smile though I question how much I know. And. Just. Knowing. That you will be forgotten by your extended family for the rest of the year but still held up to their expectations. Thank you for writing this! I'll always remember a beautiful #ownvoices story :).
5/10/22, 6:57 AM
I really am curious about how she is gonna fight this situation and will she be able to fulfill her dreams which she once had
5/6/22, 2:03 PM
Ooh I really love this! What a great ending too. Fellow students, we've got this!
5/6/22, 1:53 PM
I love this piece so much. Novels and writing rarely makes me cry, but this was just too relatable.
5/6/22, 1:51 PM
This was so beautiful, and created such a detailed image in my mind!
5/6/22, 11:35 AM
I thought that was a truly insightful piece. As a teen writer myself, your words were a refreshing reminder of the meaning behind adolescence. Thank you for bringing your writing into the world, and hope to see more of it soon.