The Fish That Couldn’t Swim

Once upon a time
(setting up the climb)
There was a fish that couldn’t swim.
            Just ask him.
“My fins are such a terror
    Never will I cruise the sea
    My life is but an error
Woe is me…”

This failing pleased the osprey
(made his predatory day)
“A fish that flops on shore
    Pleases to the core.
    As other bearers of the flesh
    It satisfies the appetite
    Yet avails me a catch
With a minimum of flight!”

And so, without a pause
The osprey swooped and bore its claws
The fish was clenched with fear
            Shed a tear
“Let this day not be my last
    His hunger not decide my fate
    How the die is cruelly cast!
Instinct: do not wait!”

And this is what the osprey saw:
(the breathless denouement)
A rippling splash where once was food
His prey had changed its attitude
“I can swim! look at me!
    Yet now the task is harder
    I’ve got to learn to breathe
Underwater

And soon…”

*

Copyright 2008 by Michael Marsters.
All rights reserved.

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