A leak in the plastic-mold pond
left two goldfish floating silver.
Their world slowly grew smaller,
the sky growing closer, water
lotus pads listing limpid sadly
without the same floating plane
holding safe the atmosphere.
Dressed for work, ill-fitting socks
slumped around my anklebones,
pencil cut slacks not helping
lurching and stretching.
I shimmied my unshined shoe
onto a rock around the pond rim.
No dipping net to be found,
I scooped one not-yet-bloated
refugee fish in my palm cup
and made the quick burial
decision, tossed to the ferns.
I knew that spore-bearing plants
feed well on fish emulsion but I think
the fish know no nutritive power
their emulsified corpses provide.
I hand-salvaged dead fish two
from the slow-slipping surface.
I tossed her to the sprouting zinnias.
It’s nearly December, late in the year
for death to make earth come alive.