Maggie Butt

The Patron Saint of Remaindered Books

She haunts the bargain bookshops,
calls them to her softly, hears the faint
flutterings among their leaves;
as stray cats would purr and rub
themselves against her shins;

she gathers them, abandoned children
in a shanty town, living on scraps,
fighting seagulls on the rubbish heap,
ekeing out echoes of their rave reviews,
envying the few, scornful of best-sellers;

she garners them – a harvest-home
where every one is dusted, shelved
in the eternal dewey decimal.