Worry by Meg Barton

What if
You were teleported
Into Ancient Greece, or Ancient Babylon,
Or the court of King Alfred
Appearing at their fireside like
A vision
And you told them you came from the future
And they said
“Tell us something to help us
Something our minds haven’t conceived of”
And the teleporter voice said
“You’ve got two minutes left”
What on earth would you say?
What would you tell them?
And if you said
“My mind’s gone blank”
And they said
“OK tell us, at least tell us
A joke that we haven’t heard before”
And you couldn’t even think of that
Not a single one.
Your big chance to save the world
Or alter the course of history
And you messed up.
How embarrassing would that be?
Sometimes I worry about this.

Meg Barton lives in Oxford, and has been published in a few magazines including The Interpreter’s House and Lighten Up Online.