Ode to the Koi Fish
Updated: May 5
who lived in the pond
of my childhood home.
the first time my mother
spent much more money
than she thought she deserved
in order for my father
to have a threshold to carry
her over as a married woman.
the pond was inherited
with the purchase:
a bed frame, a microwave,
& six orange-muddled fish.
free of charge, a moss-grown
mirror lined with dimpled stones.
kois as full & round as soup cans.
fuller once my mother was persuaded
to have children & began to feed them
in maternal instinct.
my sister was newborn when a bird of prey dove talon-first
past her scarecrow & knotted gate and
scooped up a fish as a lazy meal.
my mother’s pond slimmed down
to the few she could salvage.
when one fish remained: standing halfway between cradle & pond,
my mother decided in order to raise children the right way,
some things must die. she closed the gate & came back inside.
Kelsie Bennett *Transom Award—Best Overall