(#17/24): “Obliteration”

They were my tomes from childhood.

A retreat from the drudgery of schoolwork,

That I would escape to at every opportunity.

They were my books.


What followed was a wanton calamity

Akin to the destruction of the Library of Alexandria.

A catastrophe that could have been prevented,

Had I not neglected to peruse them all this time.


This annihilation was years in the making.

A combination of relentless monsoon rain,

A gradual erosion of soil,

And weak wooden walls in the subterranean.


Those damned termites grew in hordes.

Remorselessly eating their way into my home.

Munching through every page cover to cover,

Turning all my precious volumes into cellulose pulp.


Realisation came belatedly.

The exterminators were too late.

Everything was absolutely destroyed.

I am bereft at this devastating loss.


© 2017 S Phua

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