Peter Milner

Flying (one more stupid dream)



‘Look, I can fly!’

I announced 

perfectly certain 

to a room full of people— 

I was standing on a chair 

then launching myself 

and swimming 

swimming through the air 

but even as I propelled my body

across the room 

avoiding furniture 

and knots of people 

it was clear 

I was losing height


Nevertheless, I made it 

quite a long way . . .

came down in a corner

stood up

turned around for applause

but no one was watching

they were still talking 

one to the other

my feat had been



I found my wife 

on the phone

she was saying, 

“Why don't you come over.”

which they did 

Kate and Fran

bringing with them 

a black mouse and a golden hamster

which was typical of them

mad keen on pets 

of one sort or another 

but these they were carrying

in a cardboard sandwich wrapper


I thought 

Well, I don’t care if 

they do escape 

I was still sulking from 

being unappreciated 

but somehow,

while my wife

took the others

for a look around

the gar-den 

I was left in charge

and of course 

those rodents

did get out—


I told my wife when 

she came back in,

she said, “Well, I can see

the hamster from here.” 

And there it was 

burrowing into the carpet 

by the fireguard

I went to get it 

worried it might bite me

but I couldn’t grasp it anyway

it was burrowing too fast


The other people 

came back into the room

saying shouldn’t I go home

before the Tube stopped running . . .

I was unaware the Tube 

came out as far as Pill 

in North Somerset 

Then I thought,

but I’m already home!

They’re the ones to go home!

 . . .

but I didn’t want to argue

. . .

so, I woke up.

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