I saved a ladybird today
and at first I felt pleased,
perhaps, to be honest,
a little self-congratulatory,

I saved a ladybird today
and, even as I resisted flicking it away,
even as I let it crawl from the back of my hand
onto the chair,
I knew I'd tell you all about it.

I saved a ladybird today,
not because of kindness
or to prove a point,
but because of fear.

I saved a ladybird today
because the day my grandfather died
I read a Hindu text that said that
if we lead a bad life,
we may be reincarnated as an insect or a spider,
or even - and I don't think my memory is playing tricks here -
a Big Brother contestant.

I saved a ladybird today because she (or he?)
may once have been my grandfather
and because I don't ever want to end up
on Channel 5.