Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

The Bubble

by Joe Worthington

That’s what he needs. Escape
From this bubble he has resided in for the past sixteen years.
His sanctuary of loneliness and desolation
With its warmth and guidance… A quiet country lane.
His real best friend.

He is himself and he loves it… He adores it.
He is in control and can live his own life and no-one else needs to interfere with that.
Oh no, he can relax with his cup of tea and chocolate digestive in front of Deal or No Deal.
And break free from the real world. 
The Outside World.

There is the scary city of relationships and love.
That love he so desperately needs… and wants. But he can’t have it.
In the bubble, love has been pushed aside, neglected, forsaken. 
It sits in the corner now and laughs quietly to itself:
“You don’t care about me, so why should I help you?”

Is a word he would rather didn’t exist.
However, unlike love, it just keeps coming back.
Tapping him on the shoulder and making him nervous... scared... embarrassed.
Sometimes, it pushes him into the out of the bubble and he wants to scream
But he doesn’t because something stops him.

He needs to understand about these other worlds
Is that they’re not going away. And, however much the outside world clutters up his bubble of tidiness and routine,
It’s not going away. Not today, not tomorrow. But maybe in a couple of years 
It’ll be too late and the exit door will be shut

And ever.
Whilst he maybe happy in this bubble now, 
It can’t live on forever. The quiet country lane 
Will be developed into a scary city with its relationships and love.
No more tea or chocolate digestives.
He needs to escape. 

Added: 07.03.2011

Judges' comments on this poem


love the form with the one word first lines, a convincing portrait; think ending could be improved, though