Fish in Winter

1 min

Ana Pugatch is an MFA candidate studying poetry at GMU, where she also teaches composition and literature. She has a B.A. in English from Skidmore, and an Ed.M. in "Language and Literacy" from  [+]

Image of Short Circuit #01

After school my brother slinks
into the blue shade of the pines.

Every year it seems, he slips
and falls on the ice: bruised
kneecaps, scrapes on his palms,
the wind knocked clean out of him.

He slips but is slow to help himself
back up. He finally stands—
a tall willow bending toward
a frozen pond.

He thinks of the bottom of the lake,
and how it’s dark, and whether or not
there are dozens of fish down there,
languid silver or white.

These fish have no breath, only lidless eyes
that look side to side. They don’t mind
the icy layer between their realm
and the sun.

He skates over them every year.
And every year he wonders
if they’re real, or just figments
of metallic fish

swimming behind his eyes, as they move
side to side, as he skates over the ice.


A few words for the author? Comment below. 8 comments

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Image of Keith Simmonds
Keith Simmonds · ago
Great imagery for a wonderful story !
Image of Mary Tabor
Mary Tabor · ago
The icy cover to what's beneath. Well-done.
Image of Katie Gantt
Katie Gantt · ago
I like the imagery of "blue shades of the pine." I had to stop and picture it for a moment, of course green is the first color I think of when picturing pines, but as I put the words into a mental picture I saw the blue shade so sharply and found that it was a beautiful way to describe them. It also set a lovely tone for the beginning of the poem. I have to wonder about symbolism toward the end of the poem. What do the metallic fish symbolize...suppressed memories? Suppressed emotions? Figments of metallic fish makes me think of the term: "figment of the imagination." And at the end, the brother's eyes have taken on the characteristics of the fishes...
Image of Rob Santana
Rob Santana · ago
What a smoothy-smooth flow of words. Who doesn't love their kid bro?
Image of Prithvijeet Sinha
Prithvijeet Sinha · ago
I think the poet very sensitively addresses elements of wonder and melancholy, in a heart-touching whole.
Image of Prithvijeet Sinha
Prithvijeet Sinha · ago
From a perspective of a child, these twin elements of wonder and melancholy are pivotal and find a place here in this poem.
Image of Prithvijeet Sinha
Prithvijeet Sinha · ago
I think the author very sensitively addresses the issue of wonder and melancholy through her poem, in a heart-touching whole.
Image of Tony Martello
Tony Martello · ago
wonderful imagery

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