As the solitary fish swished in the plastic bag
Keeping tempo with her walk
Tap tap in heat of a summer day
No mercy when young love is the prize.
He holds her hand and smiles shyly
Leaning down kissing her sweetly
And she knows this moment is making her heart
Burst out of her chest where it lays trapped
Like the Orange fish in the bag
And feeling so alive,
The glow from within she feels grow inside
And she looks around to see who may bear witness
To this, her crowning moment
Her first love.
Days pass into night and swimming creatures
Not meant for such things
As love and fairs and heat
And the tap-tap of the bag against a young girls leg
And life moves forward like an accidental dead fish in a bag
And she cries a bit to see her little prize lost
And her heart breaks more so
When she sees the big prize gone,
Swimming away on the midway current
Lost to a prettier livelier fish.
She goes home alone then
And she sits in her room
Watching as the trucks carry her memories out-of-town
Broken down and lights shuttered
The smell of cotton candy and sweetness
Now hanging stale in the air.
Trucks rumble by in the night before dawn
Into the darkness and through town they roll.
An empty dresser but for
The glass jar sitting empty and creatureless,
But she knows someday it too will be full again
With splashing eyes and her mermaid dreams
Of the prizes out there to be won
And the trucks that left will back around
Setting up to begin again
But she will be wiser
Not giving so freely
Knowing she must work harder and harder
To build the inner fire
To believe in what truly is
Her radiant beauty lit from within.
To win the prize,
To be the victor of the game
That in her heart of hearts
She will be the one to win.
Silly thoughts from my youth and the realization that fish don’t live long in a ziplock bag in ninety degree heat and that love takes work, not just a single toss of a ball or prick of a dart and that with age always comes the wisdom that she is her own prize and to cherish her worth always.
Peace and blessings, K