Fish in the air

are so much more relaxed
than fish in the ocean.
They bob and sway
the branches and clouds,
they hop
into hot air balloon baskets.
One day, they all conspire
to send
a telephone message
to their brothers in the oceans, rivers and lakes.
As a cloud of fish
swim around the den and
fumble with the phone,
finding it especially hard
to manage the receiver,
one fish, a large bluegill
from West Virginia,
sulks near the mantle.
He knows that the sea-bound fish
won’t pick up. They won’t know how
or won’t believe it’s for them,
he thinks, as he studies
the painting above the fireplace –
a portrait of a large businessman
holding a pipe,
with a large fat-headed kid at his side;
a child who looks nothing like him
and who probably drove
his dad’s business
into the ground.

poem by Sean U’Ren

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