Terry Quinn

A Lecture on Quantum Mechanics

Remember the old joke
a vet goes into the waiting room
there’s good news
and bad news
Mr Schrodinger

Standing front and centre
he can watch polite chuckles
ripple along waves of Physicists
spreading out from the lectern
at the Conference Centre

he always starts like this
something predictable
to settle them down
but there’s a problem
that one from CERN
second seat from the left
on the fifth row
who he knows is going to challenge
a line in his equations

he’d heard her say as much
over a gin and tonic
in Planck’s Bar last night
and now he’s only looking at
that one person
and even though she’s chuckling
along with her colleagues

he knows he’s affected his own talk
and wonders if it is ethical
to arrange for her
to be back in her hotel room
and here at the same time
which might solve his problem
but not with any certainty.

Terry Quinn worked in the NHS as a Medical Engineer before retiring to concentrate on writing poetry. His collection The Amen of Knowledge was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing as a result of winning the Geoff Steven’s Memorial Prize in 2012, he was runner-up in the BBC Poetry Proms 2014. His joint collection with Julie Maclean To Have To Follow was published in 2016 by Indigo Pamphlets.