'Jackpot' by Mark Vanner
In May, rain punctures the grass.
The sun struggles to eclipse
the milky clouds.
On TV, a couple basks in the nuclear glow
of having won the world’s largest lottery jackpot.
I watch their bulbous faces beamed
into my living room
as they contemplate the ramifications
of having too much money to spend in a lifetime.
They talk of quitting jobs.
Buying a house in the Bahamas.
Hiring the Arctic Monkeys to play AM at their wedding.
And I wonder why I should even give a fuck?
Dreams do come true, the TV insists.
So keep paying your taxes.
Keep working your pathetic jobs.
Keep starving on food-bank-hand-me-outs.
But do it with a Nationalist song in your heart.
Knowing that someone out there – just like you –
is now richer than the country of Somalia.
Tomorrow the news will return to the war in Ukraine
and the cost-of-living crisis. But for now,
I watch this strange juxtaposition
of two people who look like me
and sound like me
but are definitely not me,
cracking open bottles of champagne,
dancing beneath a shower of bubbles,
as if it was money raining from the sky.
All Rights. Mark Vanner.
Mark Vanner was born in Nottingham and now lives in Gloucestershire, UK. His poetry has appeared in publications including, Neon Literary Magazine, 3AM, Outlaw Poetry and more. For more information please visit: www.markvanner.com or find him on Twitter: @VannerMark