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  • Writer's pictureKayleigh Willis

'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: or find him on Twitter: @VannerMark

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