The Fly

I’m not looking where the others are
seen something closer
focus intensely, a relief,
maybe just a fly but look
notice the gleam of its body
how pointed its wings are
its comic crooked legs
it’s made of many elements
a flying saucer for a head
whole planets in a fly’s eyes.

I think of that study that showed
the smaller the animal
the slower time passes for them
how it’s true for humans too
the fly perches on my hand
and I can’t react
the way I usually do
no instinctive swat away
I tolerate it
accept both our presences here
within inches of his hospice bed

the machine beeps, the fly lifts
I focus back on his stuttered breath
hear time run faster through him.



Jacquie Wyatt’s poetry has featured in Ink Sweat & Tears, South and High Window amongst others, and she won The 2021 Sir Philip Sydney Prize competition. She lives in deepest, darkest Kent.