Monday, January 4, 2010

Eleanor at the Aquarium

Here is a poem I wrote recently....

Eleanor at the Aquarium

Part One

The dim afternoon
heaves great breathes
and orange leaves swirl
across the gray blotted sky

The pavement glimmers
from morning rain
the air smells sweet

Eleanor goes to the aquarium
to escape the Autumn afternoon
Inside, the air is thick and muffled
Outside, the rain begins again

Part Two

Wander through dark rooms
with glowing blue tanks
simple glimpses
into an almost make believe world

Part Three

Eleanor pretends she is swimming through the sea
next to her hips
she slowly waves her hands
in smooth and gentle circles
the way she use to
in summer swimming pools

At the largest tank
hundreds of fish swim
but to Eleanor, it looks like there are thousands
they glide around the tank
in lonely circles

The fish ignore her
except for the largest fish
who swims right to her
and stares into her oval face
She wonders how old the fish is
She wonders if he misses the sea

Behind her, a gray haired woman stands
distracted from the fish
by Eleanor, in her orange wool jacket
outlined against the blue water

The woman thinks of the thousands
of fingers that have pressed against the glass
She thinks of the microscopic germs
more bizarre than the octopus
Its eight tentacles
rippling through the water
its sad yellow eyes
bored of the hundreds of faces it sees everyday

The woman wants to clutch Eleanor's shoulders
tug her away from the glass
to save her from what she can not see

behind the woman stands a stranger
ignoring the fish to watch the gray hair in front of him
in the wavering blue light of the aquarium
the gray hair glistens like the sky
after a rainstorm
just as the sun begins to seep through the clouds

the hair is beautiful
because the sky is beautiful and
he thinks about birds and flight
and what it would feel like
to be inside a cloud

standing inside the aquarium
he wonders if he will ever really understand
the sky or the sea

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