My Future

by Emily Middleton

Other people live in fear

of gun massacres, heart attacks,

car smashes, plane crashes,

horrific back-street slaughters.

But me? I can tell you my future:

all two hours and twenty-six minutes of it.


I can tell you how

I will be swaddled in wires

like a new-born in a blanket;

how plastic and metal will nestle

in my flesh like vital organs.

How the firm push

in the small of my back

will feel like a mother

sending her son into the playground

on his first day of school.


I can tell you how

I will step down the path

of the grey terraced house.

How I will walk

along the pavement

clutching my belly, nursing

my newly acquired child.


I can tell you how my sweat

will mingle with dormant electrons;

how I will whisper my instructions

like a mantra as I clutch the slippery surface

of the handrail on the number 47.


I can tell you how I will

disembark deftly despite

my bulk, slip

into the crowd

as an otter

enters the water.


I can tell you how I will

murmur my final prayers,

cradling my phantom foetus;

clinging to the image

of Heaven’s open gates

like a daughter to her father’s hand.

How my finger will flick

the switch as the clock

tolls twelve