Today's poem is by Paul Hostovsky
The woman with the portable oxygen tank
is standing in front of the exotic fish tank
looking at the fish. The woman looks like the fish
with her bulging eyes and yellow raincoat and exotic
portable oxygen tank. The fish tank is
too small for the fish, thinks the woman. If only
it were bigger, she could breathe easier.
The fish swim back and forth, back and forth,
looking for the way out. They think there is one.
They think if they keep looking they will find it.
Death is the only way out of the exotic fish tank,
thinks the woman. The dead ones are lifted out
by a living hand, which the fish probably think
is the long hand of Death. It scares them and they
scatter. But it's the same hand that feeds them,
this hand that lifts them gently up when they are
no more. It cares for them. It loves them. It would
hold them to itself, if only they could be held and
live. But they can't, thinks the woman, looking down
at the small bones of her own hand, and lifting it up
to adjust her breathing tube, inhales jaggedly, floats away.
Copyright © 2011 Paul Hostovsky All rights reserved
from A Little in Love A Lot
Main Street Rag
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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