Image: Fiction Fish
A Hook in Her Brain
–for Carlene, who lamented, “Be glad you don’t have a sister who’s a poet!”
Encountering “A Terrible Fish,” she swims away with a hook in her brain.
I remain baffled that you demanded
You lived inside “A Terrible Fish”—
Seeming to give you cause to hate me.
Yet, I always believe you when you say
You love me. The ghostpain of those days
Of trying to convince you the woman
In that poem was not you still haunts me.
I should have asked you why it would cause
You a gut punch—even if she were you.
The woman has nightmares
Of living in poverty. Don’t we all?
Would that make you some pariah
To be described that way? What
Did you think the poem had to say anyway?
I didn’t ask those questions—too
Anxious to relieve your gut punch.
Even as you hurled your invective at me
I never wanted to inflict pain on you.
Our lives are entwined in a spirit-pastoral
Upbringing that I cherish just as you do.
Daddy and Mommy would have sussed out the flaw—
How I wish they had been there to help me
Sway you to the fictional nature of poetry . . .
All that being too late and bygones
Being what they are, I still look
For ways to assuage my conscience
Of regret at not being able
To explicate my poem in a way
That you could grasp