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Poetry Pleases: Fish

Every morning she went down to the pond and cried “Fish, fish, fish.’’ Then one morning the neighbours didn’t hear her. Betty Collins’s short poem tells a big story.

Every morning she went out in the damp grey light
Stood at the edge of the pond:
Her voice was sharp, shrill, toneless, penetrating:
Fish! Fish! Fish!
She cried.
Fish! Fish!
The water was dark and murky
The water was like grimy barley soup
The water was green and brown and flat
Fish! Fish! Fish! Fish! Fish!
Her voice pierced the shadows
Sank deep under the algae
Ruffled the edges:
And the fish loomed up through the murk
Glowing, reddish, shadows, swelling,
Fanning tails, fluttering fins, gaping –
They gaped at flecks on the surface….
One morning the neighbours
Didn’t hear her. All was silent.
They listened, looked out.
Only shadows
Dark wet trees
Only silent fish
Deep under the water.


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