Thursday, October 10, 2013

The unyielding heartbreak of fins

I am a fish.
I have been a fish my entire life.
I am very good at being a fish.
My scales are pretty.
My fins are graceful in the water.
I float and bob and spin and dart, when I swim it is like poetry.

Climb this tree!  
Arboreal life is the way to be.
I fling myself out of the water and flop helplessly.

Why can't you just climb this tree?
The herons didn't have a hard time getting up here, and they were in your pond.
I stare into the branches as I begin to suffocate.

You just aren't trying hard enough!
If you applied yourself, you could climb this tree!
I roll, exhausted, back into the water.

I gaze helplessly at the branches above me.
I visit doctors to try to exchange my fins for legs.
All they can give me is thicker slime, so I can stay on the shore a few minutes longer before drying out.

I ache for legs.
I yearn to see the world from the treetops.
Over and over, I fling myself onto the shore.

I know you're a fish, but everyone needs to climb the tree.
I think you just need to change your attitude.
Is there anything we can do to help you grow legs?

I grow more colorful scales, in the hopes that maybe it will compensate for my gills.
I swim in more graceful patterns.
I desperately try to make being a fish okay.

The swimming is nice, but you still have fins.
Why aren't they legs yet?
The frog grew legs, so you understand our frustration, don't you?

My pond has turned to saltwater from my tears.
I have been a fish my whole life.
When will that be okay?

My pond is evaporating.


  1. This is so very heart breaking, and relate-able.

    1. The thing that puzzles me is that EVERYONE is a fish. I don't know why we keep asking each other to climb the trees.

  2. Beautiful and very sad. Lots of people wish to be something they can never be. But in your dreams you can be anything. <3

    1. In my dreams, fish are valued as much as climbers.

  3. I tried to comment a couple days ago via my phone, but couldn't. I'm back to say nothing, just that I wish I could offer some e-props or click a "like" button.

  4. i have always like swimming. it's freeing. when i'm up high i'm terrified that i'm going to fall. i want to go back to the pool.