Once we’d settled in next door,
our South Korean neighbors gave us
koi. Three sleek and splendid fish
for luck, one black, two calico in color.
Plump, each a pound or so. A kind, yet
mystifying gesture, as our neighbors
knew the population of our household.
Their care bestowed to me, the koi
and fish tank were set up in my room.
Next morning I awoke, breaching
the surface of a strangely deep,
chaotic sleep. There were koi bones
drying on my sheets, koi scales sticky
in my hair, and at my feet in bed, our three
sleek and splendid cats, one black,
two calico in color. Plump, each heavier
by a pound or so. Licking lovingly
between their toes they purred, faces
clean, their whiskers framing coy smiles.
© by Susan Rooke.
Used with the author’s permission.