On damask walls, moving drafts of cold air,
a watchful oil portrait sees his shadow
fading as it winds up forbidden stairs.
Lights dim but a voice, memories echo
in the closing time stillness. Employees
rush away and the cat's hair stands on end
as the gates close, the custodian flees
shirking tower cleaning duty again,
leaving minarets in the moon-glow, arches,
a domed, mismatched Moorish exterior
with a Victorian decor. Time marches
as millions of library visitors
trample the grounds following his bequest;
so he stays, safeguarding what he loved best.