Family Affair

I must ask you a question, kind sir, about your parenting.
Wouldn’t it be awful were you to chance upon a fishbowl
in which your only daughter morphs into some mermaid?
How would you go about rescuing her? Would rescue be
worth the pursuit? She would swim there freely in denial
with dragons breathing flames of retribution, punishment
for the sin of non compliance, having failed in the model
scripture set out for her. Oh how dare she swim liberated!
You would counsel the poor dear, blow bubbles and horn,
shake the bowl in order to disrupt those swirling currents
that allow her to discover what wonders exist in quest of 
common kin. Imagine the process in which tides identify
for her traditions inside caverns yet to be explored. She
moans, unable to give birth, and no death on the horizon,
exempt from any earthly authority, but you needn’t weep.
She isn’t lost to you yet. There might be a time and place
you merge, reunite with a formative being that spawned
many centuries before this one. Or perhaps she’ll drown
in the end. Maybe you shake the cataclysm of doubt that
lingers like a stillborn. It’s a testament to her tremendous
health, that stoutest will of hers, disavowing flaccid gods
that at present time only represent a briefest resurgence to
the surface of a virtually voided world. Now then, is your
wife invited to the scene? Your son? No reason for worry
since they too have come to judgements, from their starts
designed to carry out the orders handed down minus any
decrees slipping into a convoluted consciousness. So pray
if you like. Make sacrifices. Slay bulls, revere cows, yank
hearts out of the chests of Aztec warriors and feed them to
those dragons thrashing water in the fishbowl, their flames
opaque like divine wrath pouring out and devouring a self.



Thomas Piekarski

Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His poetry has appeared in such publications as The Journal, Poetry Salzburg, Modern Literature, The Museum of Americana, South African Literary Journal, and Home Planet News. His books of poetry are Ballad of Billy the Kid, Monterey Bay Adventures, Mercurial World, Aurora California, and Opus Borealis.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Sunday, June 2, 2024 - 21:14