Sharkie – Poem

Sharkie (a somewhat true story)

My brother had a fish that would leap out of its tank. He’d come home each day and check
behind glass, search and crawl on hands and knees, fingers cast into seas of blue shag.
We found a piece of screen to cover water and prevent escape, but the fish would batter
his silver body against its mesh like hard rain until it slipped enough for him to fit.

(One day my mother found him with her foot, half-dead again and flopping, the wire screen
nudged over, the tank still bubbling with colored rocks and plastic sea-divers, and she said: enough already. Left him there, didn’t pick him up until he was still.)

I kinda told the truth in this poem, and I kinda followed We Write Poems‘ Wednesday prompt requiring parentheticals. My brother did have a fish named Sharkie that used to leap out of its tank on a regular basis, and Sharkie did occasionally get stepped on. My mother, however, never tired of putting Sharkie back in his tank, and while I’m not sure how he died, I’m fairly certain it was not from one of his out-of-tank experiences. On, and the prompt required three lines, with a fourth line in parenthesis. 

16 thoughts on “Sharkie – Poem

  1. I kinda love this poem, and I’d kinda be disturbed you didn’t precisely “follow the rules” on prompts – sigh, if only we had rules! So, is this your fish-story Cynthia? And I like the parenthetic title too.

    Hope your mom forgave you making her the kinda villain here. Good poem that rings right and true (even if it’s only some!). It “relates” I suppose, partly cause I had a fish just like that once upon my time. Actually it was good to see this prompt suggested form delivered in this precise manner as well.


  2. It gave me a deja vu feeling, like wasn’t there a fish-out-of-water experience I had forgotten. Nice story poem. Glad you’re still playing.

  3. I wasn’t a fan of this poem on first reading. Came back and gave it another chance and liked it much better. I wonder, what if you had finished this with “and she said: enough already. Leave him there this one time.” or “enough already, this is one time too many”, etc. I wonder if ending with the mother’s words would have been stronger than the ending with the final comment of the persona.

    Even though this poem is not one of my favorite of yours, your creativity and imagination shines through. Your normally strong descriptive skills and ways of creating effective imagery are here as always. It’s a pleasure to read as it is so well crafted and so poetic.

  4. I enjoyed reading your Sharkie poem. A good fish tail is hard to beat. I really found your photography mesmerizing. There truly is a life time of poetic inspiration in the scenes you have capture. Thanks Cynthia for sharing.. Regards, Don…

  5. That’s a neat memory. One of my daughter’s fish did that about a year ago, too. Your piece reminded me of a cartoon I saw many years ago about a fish committing suicide. It struck me and stayed in my mind all of these years. I thought you might enjoy it so I searched for it on the internet. Couldn’t find the exact one but somebody copied it into their own version at the website below. I hope you get a kick out of it……

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