Less Wonder

by


I was never taught how

to properly gut a fish, only told

to place them in a dry bucket

 

I’d watch as they’d thrash

and choke on air. Which knife

should I choose and where do I make

 

the first incision. At what angle

do I groove through her bones

Spoon her eyes with a bloodied finger

 

or freeze under their dying stare

When cutting her fins, should

I repurpose them into origami

 

cranes, turtles or fish. I could believe

her guts dye blue or green or black

depending on where you hook her

 

Do her scales singe at human touch

or hush like paintbrush hairs

Would you say I’m a gutless wonder

 

I cried when Dad called me that

He yelled to hold the yellow herring

high for a photo. I knew I could not

 

touch something I had killed

I wouldn’t know what to keep or toss

I want to throw some of it back

 

I want to throw all of her back.

 

 

 

 

first published by Voiceworks in their issue 121, “Root” published in Jan, 2021

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