Goldfish

Gold scales and an oblong body
Four to five inches long
Like a throwaway pet
Deemed dumb and dirty
But I have seen it in the cradle
Gasping for air while its weaker cousins died
Have seen it metamorphosize from black to orange
And each inch it gained
Was a year of my life and his

Comet

Whenever I feel old
I look at the lights across the water
On that bridge older than I
I think of elms and oaks
And all the children they have sheltered
Playing underneath their scarred boughs
Compared to many things
I am like a comet
A streak of light
Momentarily glimpsed
And smiled upon by that
Eternal eye

Time and Mortality

The youth knows only summer
And plays and frolics through the golden time
The man knows the fall and winter
And tries to smile as he prepares
The old one knows the seasons will pass
And cycle and pass farther than he can live
The world continues on long after we are gone
The wise mind finds comfort in this
And the child, under the weathered skin
Fears death

Sardine Can

The boat tied to the docks has rusted
Green along the wheel where the bronze spokes radiate
Like a defaced relic beneath an overcast sky
The floor planks groan with each toss of the sea
Slate-gray, stripped of color by unceasing wind
Someone’s hands have pried the hatchway loose:
A rank welcome into a sardine can