Darling, What If …
What if I choose this one small fly, iridescent on the daisy’s white ruff.
What if I choose to follow it with my eye from flower to flower
as I sit on this bench, a wooden sleeper resting on two grindstones.
And what if other flies circle, for example, that fat atheist the bluebottle,
searching for something more akin to a shopping mall than a lawn.
What if nothing happens but sound, trains across the way
sliding in and out of town like pharmaceutical salesmen or lovers
who’ve met on the internet. What if the wind repeats rumours
of their wedding vows from mid-week town hall ceremonies.
What if the fly disappears, only for a minute, but completely,
dizzying blindly through a portal into another world.
I know this can’t happen, because a fly has a thousand eyes
and can’t go anywhere blindly. Imagine our world as it appears to the fly,
like a shop front on a 70s high street, stacked with colour t.v.s,
all tuned to the same channel.
This is the closest you’ll ever get to understanding, not being a fly,
but at least being able to picture it, that feeling inside my messed-up head.
This poem was written in one of Nell Farrell’s workshops at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet and won 2nd prize in the Nottingham Open poetry competition, 2016. Thanks Nell – it wouldn’t have been written without your inspirational approach to poetry.