Memory's the thing. The fishhooked on the end of that string, hoistedhigh, a live iridescentdisc, perplexed eye on each side—it hung like a lone wind chime . . .
My grandfather hollered like the kidI knew he was, Youcaught that sunfish! But he lied—he was the one who'd lifted that lifeto the sky, out of the public pond
on the map of my memory, that dayin Fairmount Park. I was five,the air far brighter than oldereyes could admit, the crowd of wadersa sparkling carnival of spirits
come to shine incarnatein the earthly light. But memory,kind servant, mightprotect me here—maybeit was I who hauled the sunfish out,
dragged it onto the sandand dirt among the soda cans,cigarette ends, and tossedwrappers. Did I poke itwith a stick? Was I six?
Was the fish ours? Perhapsan older kid beside us, [End Page 44] who'd learned to pierce the wormwith his hook, had let us look.All I'm sure of's this—
I saw a thoughtless dyingradiant thing—it hung,gasped, turned in the stirof useless air, in the wind of lightand time. It still hangs there. [End Page 45]
Jed Myers is a Seattle-area poet and singer-songwriter whose poems have appeared in Fugue, Golden Handcuffs Review, Atlanta Review, Nimrod, Spoon River, and the new anthology Many Trails to the Summit (Rose Alley P). By day he is a psychiatrist with a therapy practice.