Today's poem is by Conrad Hilberry

Schooled In the Open Sea

The albacore, bonita, mackerel
that school by millions in the open sea
are sloping off, just this side of nil.

Those oily muscles fishers used to sell
in seaside towns and then the A and P—
albacore, bonita, mackerel—

the iridescent skin and forking tail,
are netted now by dry-land industry.
The numbers slide, just this side of nil.

Tunas so large their blood runs warm, not cool,
are lifted from their deep geography,
as are the albacore, the mackerel.

Of no significance to any pool
of vertebrates, any menagerie,
I, too, am sloping off, this side of nil,

but there the likeness ends. Natural
my slant is. I don't ask the company
of albacore, bonita, mackerel.
I'll wane alone-my path to nil.

Copyright © 2014 Conrad Hilberry All rights reserved
from Until the Full Moon Has Its Say
Wayne State University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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