Counting fish


It was a day when the ocean

lay still, merging its salty

wetness with the dank side

of the sky and the air was thick

with fish, so thick that you

could see them—in full color,

I might add—darting and turning

through the edges of waves before

losing their way in the deep.

There were bluefish, I forget

how many now, but I counted

them then, razor teeth

wreaking havoc to rings

of glass minnows and shiners,

astral bodies thin as light,

flashy as a diamond jig. Then

the needlefish, sturgeon, marlin

and sharks, nosing their way

through the sea. There were more:

blowfish with their swelled bellies

and squared shape, dogfish,

schooling alewife, skates and rays,

bass, even a pair of seahorse.

But the loveliest sight of all

was a single angelfish,

painted in the prettiest blue

and gold an artist might ever see,

making its gentle way back

to the place where I drifted off,

offering its heavenly peace.

*   *   *

Koi photo by Jan Logozzo. Poem, Counting Fish, by Mary O’Connor © 2016

6 thoughts on “Counting fish

  1. Dear Mary, talked to Jan and I’m still out here loving the two of you. I didn’t know about your blog, but don’t do any of the media. How do I get it?
    Love, Zack


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