The small girl holds a bucket
to the window, lifts a muslin veil,
reveals a glittering slosh
of black beads, wet wings
and the aroma of a strong substance,
enticing from within.
Fifty cents a quart uptown,
but better still, her prize,
admission to the picture show,
a golden ticket for a child
whose honeyed breathlessness
can catch a thousand flies.
I bring them fresh,
don’t let them shrink, I think I win.
She recites: a filthy fly has got no friends
and he does not deserve any –
he brings diseases to the babies in their beds
and fills the city cemeteries.
The clerk salutes her with a smile,
a gloomy usher shoos her in.
Before the cover falls once more,
something small and shiny
weaves a way out, buzzing
into warm-scented ribbons.
She sits inside, the heat stifled,
eyes wide, enthralled by silvery flickerings.
It finds her shoulder in the darkness,
rubbing tiny legs together
as Resurrection plays
its last summer showing.
Fi Smith is a poet from Dublin, Ireland, and blog editor for firstfortnight.ie, an annual festival of mental health awareness through the arts. Her work has been published in The Incubator Journal, The Molotov Cocktail, Ellipsis Zine and The Blue Nib. @fifilebon