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. 


Unnatural – Poem


You say I should get out more, that I
should admire nature, that I should swim
in its decorous wisdom. You say humanity

is the stupidest of creatures, and must repair
this umbilical snip from its own creation.
But what am I to admire? Surely not

the sun, rising and setting its work
each day without question, until it buries
itself against its own darkness. Not

the blinking packs of birds blotting
the sky each simple year, or the hurricane
which gripped an entire city with its bluster,

then wandered off and squandered its power
over an empty stretch of marsh. Not
my dog, who’ll do anything for food,

or my cat and her haughty obsessions,
or the silver maple in my backyard
which has yet to figure out it’s January.

The queen’s wreath in the garden
is greedy, it does not know when to stop,
and the passion vine is vulgar, whores all summer

to the bees that die knowingly in its folds.
And what about the fish you caught last season,
with a rusty hook already lodged

in his opalescent jaw? You freed it from your line
then threw it back, and it glimmered away,
ignorant of its own recurrent escape.