Carnival Goldfish

November 4, 2011
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Bright lights and the hum of machines
Fill the carnival air.
Excited parents and wide eyed children
stroll and run and dance through the night.
But off in a corner
in a tank
on a table
away from the energy and thrills of the fair,
I swim surrounded by a million of my brothers.
They are taken one-by-one,
given away as prizes,
and shaken up or tossed away
or worse – forgotten.

I am all alone.

Suddenly, it is my turn to go.
I am scooped up and dropped down into a small plastic bag,
my coffin, I am sure.
But slowly, delicately I am held
and carried
and I float through the excitement of the night
like a bright orange ghost
or a hummingbird with fins.

I look up and see my owner.
His smile is soft
and his grasp on my bag is firm
and I know
I am no longer alone.

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