Drowning in Wembley Stadium – Joe Carrick-Varty

today's poem vertical

Drowning in Wembley Stadium

If you chained yourself to the top-most seat
on the top-most tier of Wembley Stadium
and one drop of rain fell on the centre circle,
then two drops, then four drops,
doubling every minute,
how long would it be before you drowned?
Twelve hours.
So, that last minute,
the last of the seven hundred twenty,
eleven hours fifty-nine,
the second before that last minute,
how full would the stadium be?
It would be half full.
At eleven hours fifty nine
the water would be fifty metres from your throat,
it might resemble a swimming pool, or a lake
with ripples, yes, plastic bags,
a reflection of the sun, a flock passing,
then the wind might hush,
that sun disappear,
traffic on Rutherford Way or Falton Road might stop,
look up at the ocean emptying out of the sky,
think to themselves,
‘I hope nobody’s in there.’


Joe is a poet based in Manchester whose work has appeared in Crannog Magazine, The Manchester Review and The Interpreter’s House amongst other places. He recently travelled to Alaska and saw a real grizzly bear.

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