The Fish Beneath the Words

If I bend my body away from the table slightly,

the sun can pass by me and shine through

the smooth surface of my lover’s words

to the fish swimming beneath them.

Are the words bait, or are the words food?


Even if this is not important,

even if there is a cord at the end of a moment

that we pull with our teeth when we get there,

I still would not choose to come back here

to this earth where things happen in a predictable order.


Yesterday, with the door closed,

my back pressed against it,

the sound of the day was a blessed sound.

And later, something  small

and still almost unforgivable, caught

in the same room with us.

I am pushing my words around, neatly dressed,

in a stroller.  I am feeling a little important.

I have some concerns: I am negotiating the stairs,

the next doorway, the slant of the sun.

I am by necessity thinking ahead

to a meal or a sweater or fatigue.


When I came in from the ocean

my lover was talking to a woman on a rock.

I watched them making up their little song,

singing a cappella for a moment,

and who could blame

the natural order of things.  But still

the shell in my hand becomes ridiculous so quickly.

And if it’s true that I am imminently singing

a song of despair, then show me some other way

to read the tide.



                                          from Southern Poetry Review



Latest comments

16.07 | 22:46

Woweezowee, Missy, Congratulations on your new book!!!
This is a great web page where I can finally access all your writings!

25.01 | 00:56

I have been reading your poems occasionally because I am not used to poetry and need practice. I LOVE this poem.
xoxx Leslie

28.12 | 18:58

Missy-Marie, first, my best wishes & many blessings for the new year 2015, soon to be! Second, congratulations for all your beautiful master pieces creations.

12.08 | 01:04

Still chuckling as I write this. Wonderful nugget of family life.