The Boss

We didn’t meet by chance in the airport lobby.
She sensed in my obvious lack of eye contact
a pollen trail of discomfort and made a bee-line
in my direction and land an interrogatory enquiry
as to where on earth was I off too?
“New York” I replied to my own reflection,
trapped in the sunglasses perched like a tiara
on the perfectly coiffured crown of her head.

She was actually taken aback by my reply
as if my words had tried to steal her lunch money.
Recoiling, her pursed lips emitted a winded rebuke
“You seem too quiet to go there.”

The predictable employee, boss faux pleasantries
carried on, unabated, as she ignored the confusion
that was leaping from my stung face.
Should I discard my figure hugging jeans,
ditch my casual vest top and blazer?
don an anorak and oversized horn-rim glasses
and go stand awkwardly in the background
of some strangers photos?

On second thoughts, I remember I’ve already
applied my insect repellent, so sod her
I’m off to America.
Yes, sod her, I’m off to America
So excited I just had to say it twice.


“Backbeat” © Dr. Regina Valluzzi


Geraldine O’Kane is originally from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, has had numerous poems published in magazines, anthologies and on-line e-zines. Her first pamphlet Quick Succession is available to purchase via Pen Points Press. She has curated two multi-platform exhibitions for The Belfast Book Festival and facilitated creative writing workshops. She has just launched a new print and on-line micro poetry press Panning for Poems.

Art can illuminate even the most elusive and difficult to comprehend ideas. Visual rules and tightly codified visual metaphors help scientists communicate complex ideas mostly amongst themselves, but they can also become barriers to new ideas and insights. Dr. Regina Valluzzi’s images are abstracted and diverged from the typical rules and symbols of scientific illustration and visualization; they provide an accessible window into the world of science for both scientists and non-scientists.