small act of mercy

goldfish

what the hell she do that for
her goldfish on the desk
gasped for life…still water glistening
its gill slits opened… closed
to sip burning oxygen

my fish…just felt like doing it
experiment…a testing of their nerve
perhaps they’d let it die this year
not buck authority…and teach is boss
her property…and she’s a crazy woman
to dip her hand into the bowl
to kill in front of them

hey….do something
some dying in its eye
a slowing will to breathe
no thrashing in its tail
no cavalry in sight

oh, Christ…I’ll do it
he splashed it to the bowl
it floated on its side

it’s dead…
then awareness righting
and orienting thrust to
claim its element

it’s yours now…
her implication dawned
some cheered…some jeered
his rash accomplishment…
she left it to them to think
the sense or nonsense of it
and…she never lost a fish

Bonnie Marshall

Note to dear Readers…this is a true story.

 

Artwork by Color Jar

8 thoughts on “small act of mercy

      1. Wishes granted then…guess it’s providence. Story telling isn’t what brought me to live in the Blue Ridge Mnts. but it sure is one of the things that keeps me here.
        Again, Bonnie…. I can listen to you roll out a story all day. All we need is a porch. xxoo

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