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A Poem About a Fish

By Caroline Allen

I read a poem* about fishing, wishing, weeping, a moment of charity, clarity, memento mori, significance glanced from monotony. At work, there is no ticking clock, just discreet pixels tucked in a screen corner, reflecting yet detached from reality.

On my way to work, a doe stood still in the parking lot, locked eyes, took stock. I stepped—I did not want to—I stepped and she sprang away, still spying. I stepped again for the tick-less ticking timeclock. The doe disappeared into the dense median. A witness of wonder breaking into back-breaking monotony: sharp clarity, a winter sky, seeing breath—oh, I do have a body.

The disconnect between my ordinary days and teeming, screaming inner world; I am inverted, as my inner world bursts into this ordinary day and this ordinary day breaks into my inner world. Neglected nodes light the meaning in mundanity as clearheaded, creative consciousness colors habits.

I saw a lizard on a clear door, a sunbather, gazer, gazing at me. I remember the look in its eyes, the detailed beauty of its scaled features. Fearless, it dared me to disturb, but I dared not intrude and left another way.

Invert my heart, unbend me till my heart blood drenches the earth, till there is no “I” or “you” or “me” or “humanity,” only fellow creatures standing on what man made as outsiders, intruders. A stranger to self, forgetter of the fallen tongue, I read a poem about fishing. A poem about fishing was read. A poem was about fishing. It ended in weeping on a Sunday. Did the man weep for the un-gilled fish or the boy within the man?

*Nicole Rollender’s “Prophecy V. In the Gardens, My God,” published in Issue 2 of As Surely as the Sun


Caroline Allen is an avid reader and finds writing and collage creative outlets for expressing and experiencing faith. She has also been published in Ekstatis. Her day job is working at the University of North Carolina.


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