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This poem is taken from PN Review 251, Volume 46 Number 3, January - February 2020.

Fastidious Fly and other poems Nicola Healey
Fastidious Fly

A fly was drowning in my water glass.
I tipped it out and it clung onto a blade of grass
like a windsurfer.
                             It steadied itself and then
meticulously cleaned its face, like a cat.

It lifted each iridescent wing
and smoothed them down with thread-thin legs,
closing them into place like a pair of shears,
               Then it took off.

I could have swallowed all that
intricate effort-to-be;
it wouldn’t have tasted of anything.

Spirit Level

When you are ill, you are always working
on getting well. When you’re well,

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