Tuesday Poem/Flash Fiction: W.A.G.S.

It's Flash Fiction day in the UK tomorrow, so today I'm posting a short observation piece, overheard in a cafe.  I don't write Flash very often, but it's a form I want to explore.   To see what can really be done with prose poetry/flash fiction Robert Hass writes with absolute mastery about another couple and another baby in 'Museum' over on  my book blog. 


She doesn’t look old enough to leave school;  his cheeks are smooth.  But they have this baby between them, which he’s struggling to feed, tilting the bottle the wrong way.  ‘No, not like that,’ she says and he looks stressed, letting the baby’s head loll from his wrist, swallowing air.  A sharp cry.  The girl reaches across the table, more expert, holding the infant like a doll, its small face contorted with rage.

He has one eye on the exit, one on the Sky screen.  She reminds him they need nappies, a baby seat.  He isn’t listening.   ‘Look at that,’ he says.  ‘Magic.  Rooney’s bloody magic.  Could be good as Messi, what d’you think?’  She has no opinion.  ‘Can’t wait to take him to a match,’ he says, nodding to the future sports fan cradled against the fake tan of her arm.  ‘Look at those feet,’ he says, fingering the long digits, curling and uncurling from the cuffs of the giant shorts as he sucks formula.  The Man-U shirt three sizes too big.  ‘When d’you think we can buy the boots?’

For more Tuesday Poems please visit the Tuesday Poets and check out what they're sharing on the hub.


  1. This was very recognisable, really made me smile and I like the way you make room for the dialogue.

    On the subject of Robert Hass - I am hooked. I bought The Apple Trees at Olema on your recommendation and was knocekd out by it. I'm still reading and re-reading it (on KIndle but need a hard copy) and I couldn't agree more that it's the way he tells the story that impresses most.

  2. Thanks Avril! Have replied by email on Robert Hass. He is so good.


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