I am a writer and teacher. My first chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is due Fall 2014, and my blog is jddehart.blogspot.com.
The Memory of Dolphins
Remember, I ask, the dolphins
or porpoises, their beautiful shadows
cavorting in the waves?
We felt so lucky to see them then.
When, you ask, when was that?
It was just a few years ago when we
went walking one morning, getting
our toes in the lukewarm water.
But the memory is gone, a photo that
has been destroyed, an event that
may as well have never happened.
Such is reality, I suppose.
Sitting by the cresting waves,
he noticed first one swordfish and then
another finding their flapping way
onto the shore.
Should he wake her? Probably not.
Then the first one stood up, followed
by his companion, and a duel ensued.
He really should wake her, he thought,
but did not.
Then both silver-blue fishes bowed,
leaped back into the ocean.
First he thought, she’s going to be pissed,
and then he thought, she wouldn’t believe
it anyway if I told her.
The High Waters
A boat is docked
but has never been anywhere
to speak of.
The inside of the restaurant
is decorated with animal skins,
a giant bee’s nest.
A muskrat threatens to go fishing
by the door.
He’s even got his pole out.
There are stirrings in the water,
Invisible life sucking at lighting
insects, moving in tiny circles
beneath the swirling murk.
There is a hidden life in the marsh
as we eat broiled fish and sip
sour mixes in mason jars.
Next to us, a grandmother uses
her magnificent net (Did she used to
wear it on her head?) to capture a fish,
needle nose opening and closing.
We are not used to defensive fish,
just the flopping kind who quickly
try to escape back into the river.
They are otherwise docile.
But even the fish here have teeth.
I considered putting a saddle
on a seahorse, but the creature
is too small and strange.
One day we will learn to control
the ocean and who knows what
How many tsunamis will we cause
just because of oops?
Not all life is meant to be bridled,
or even can be.
Or even should be.
©2014 JD DeHart