The Fish Tank

Unaccustomed to fish and their ways,
we realise quickly that the goldfish bowls
of our childhood are no longer the way,
and so, acceding to a preschooler's wish,
my wife spends hours learning
the ways of fish tanks
and the fish that dwell in them,
then imparts this learning to me as we
gather together accoutrements
and seek to keep a fish alive.

Like new parents, powerless
to draw the line between marketing and
the edicts that utter death to the fish
that do not receive them, we take
all advice, and pour
hours the night before, like
purified water,
into the tank's assembly, then

the next day slowly let
this fish like a newborn
take in its water, its new surrounds,
while two wondering eyes swallow all
in a dazzled gulp, and I
am back on the ground watching
his newborn pupils discover
this gobsmacking, stunning, sense-exploding whole
for the very first time, and wonder too:

that we should have made it through
four years largely unscathed,
save the loss of sleep; that he
- this life-absorbing, world-imagining
force before me
should be here at all,
staring in awe
at a fish bubbling water.

Published by Matthew Pullar

Teacher, writer, blogger, husband, father, Christian. Living in Wyndham in Melbourne's west, on the land of the Kulin Nation. Searching for words to console and feed hearts and souls.

One thought on “The Fish Tank

  1. Exquisite!

    And congratulations on you and your wife working so well together in fish-protection! In my family, the fish came so quickly to a bad end that we finally gave it up and just stuck to dogs. I think you should do something amazing for your wife to celebrate your accomplishment.

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