The Fish

Lauren Adams

Lauren Adams

She is a fine fish
a bright spring morning
in the morning sunlight
hues of a rainbow

She lies in my hand
now Her fight all spent
her gills quivering in air
not created for her

She tastes this air
now Her mouth gasping
as one thirsting for water
in a parched land

She watches me
now Sparkling black eyes
considering the unknown
sensing mystery

It is just as though
we feel some recognition
seeing a sibling long dead
on a crowded train

The eyes now cloud
as though turned inward
seeing what the dead see
All or nothing at all

“Born man, child man, singing man,
dancing man, loving man, old man,
dying man. This is a round river
and we are her fish who become water.” ~ Jim Harrison


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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15 Responses to The Fish

  1. Susanne says:

    Have you read Elizabeth Bishop’s The Fish? A different take. I’m musing on the capital S in sparkling. It makes the fish seem bigger and I think of the spark of life.


    • No, I have not read it but will certainly look for it . . . Yes, the eyes, as my mother would say, are the window to the soul in every living creature . . . Do creatures have souls? In my mind the ‘life`force’ is at least, minimally, the soul as we think of it . . . Thanks for the comments: always welcomed! Blessings . . .

      Liked by 1 person

  2. superbly soulful


  3. Morgan says:

    This really reached in and grabbed my heart. marvelously haunting. I do believe creatures have souls…as it says in Romans ALL of Gods Creation shall share in Paradise. ;)


  4. great poem – but that’s why I hate fishing…


  5. My dad was an avid fisherman, went every chance he got—before sunrise, before work, after work; in the winter…a good many of my childhood memories of him are littered with that distinct smell, the feel of the slimy fish, and the shiver of cold air. I hated going fishing as a young girl, but one day when my own daughter was a mere 9 months, I wanted to gift her some of my own childhood experiences, so I took her fishing with my dad—at 4am! It was then that I understood my dad’s love for it. It was his solitude. It was where he drew close to the Lord, where he could literally call out to Him in his sanctuary–nature. I know my story is not really on the same point as your poem—but it brought back some precious memories. My dad has been gone 5 years now, so the detail in your poem—is one I have witnessed countless times—with my dad. Thank you!


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