• Kelsie Bennett

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

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