Friday, May 05, 2006

The Fish's Tale

First you have to read this news story.

I’d rather not have swallowed it—that damned ring
but that’s how fish are made. We swallow things.
Something splashes—we just have to look
it could be food, it could be just a hook.
Anyway I rose. Gulp! My fate was sealed,
the scaling-knife, the gutting, the ring revealed.

But I can tell you nothing of the theft,
who stole it from her, why, or why he left
a household full of valuable possessions
and took just the ring. Smacks of obsession,
some high-school sweetheart maybe, spurned, heart-broken
turned stalker, burglar, desperate for this token.

Years later, quite by accident, he finds it.
He’d forgotten—now he’s forcibly reminded
love, teenage angst, a break-and-enter situation.
Oh God, what’s the statute of limitations?
He panics, throws the evidence in the drink
safe to forget again—or so he thinks.

Well, he’s still safe—no questions will be asked.
She gets her ring back, the misdeed is masked
by my pale entrails. My last gasp brings him relief.
No-one need ever know he was the thief.
And no-one knows my heartfelt dying wish—
that I’d been born as something smarter than a fish.

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