A Fly Buzzed Me before It Died

Poets can take themselves too seriously. That’s why I enjoy reading, and sometimes writing, light verse. Humor—in life and in writing—helps us keep perspective. In a world too often caught in a morass of self-importance, a good laugh can be a life line.

Awhile back, a fly buzzed past my face while I was brushing my teeth. An ironic reversal of Emily Dickinson’s poem, “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died,” flashed through my mind and led to this poem.

I would encourage you to read Dickinson’s before mine. One, it is a classic poem worth knowing. Also, when I parody a piece, part of the fun is staying close to the original, so it is recognizable even as I have fun with it. In any case, I hope my revision doesn’t bug any Dickinson fans 😉

A Fly Buzzed Me before It Died


A Fly buzzed me before it died - 
The Stillness when I Raised
My hand Was like the Stillness before
The Lightning’s jagged Race -

My Eyes ran ‘round pursuing that fly -
My Fist was gathering firm
For that last Onset - when its Strike
Would fall with thundering Boom -

I steeled my Will then Slapped away
But missed with every try 
Until, by chance, I hit it in
Mid-flight—-I got you, Fly!

With Blue - uncertain - stumbling Buzz -
Down through the light - it fell -
And bounced from a Window to the floor -
Just one stop short from Hell.

Published by mrteague

Teague McKamey lives in Washington state with his wife and two children. Currently, he manages in-home caregiver services for elderly and disabled people. The McKameys belong to Thorp Community Church, where they worship and minister together. In all areas of his life--whether at home, at church, or on the job--Teague sincerely hopes that Christ may be magnified in his body (Php. 1:20).

6 thoughts on “A Fly Buzzed Me before It Died

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