Tuesday, 27 October 2015

A poem by Jill Sharp

A Brief History of Flies

Once they were small and silent, elite
airborne divisions of geometers; their mission –
to square the circle of a dining-room light-shade
in tireless pursuit of the perfect right-angle.
If they mutinied to an occasional
hypotenuse, causing spasmodic scuffles
beneath the bulb, they were always
back to their corners. Alighting,
they’d patrol at a respectful distance
and wait until you’d left the table
before taking their turn on your plate.

Now they’re all wideboys with ASBOs
banging round the kitchen like marbles,
torsos by Rambo, wing-design nicked
from the jump-jet. Why wait
for grub to be plated up
when you can dive-bomb the pot?
The leader squats on the worktop
rubbing his legs at the thought
of an almighty carve-up; a media chef
with his fuck-off wrist action
sharpening the knife.

First published in Orange Coast Review 2015 and in Jill Sharp’s pamphlet Ye gods, published by Indigo Dreams.

Jill Sharp lives in Swindon where she runs writing workshops at the Richard Jefferies Museum. Her poems have appeared most recently in Envoi, Orange Coast Review, The Interpreter’s House and Mslexia, online at Ink, Sweat & Tears and Nutshells and Nuggets and in anthologies including Fanfare, The Other Side of Sleep and The Book of Love and Loss.

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