Through my bedroom window,
I spot a peach-colored fish
stuck between stones in the old stonewall.
I imagine she’s been beached,
but once I slap through the screened door,
leaping past the snakes’ rustle,
I find it’s just another rock torn
by a farmer’s plunging knuckles
from the landscape’s lap,
and propped atop the assemblage.
No longer a she, it’s a dead fact.
But why is it pinkish-orange?
Bleached by years of sun, I think,
and further bleached by ice.
Grooved with fins of rain, I think.
Mistaken nearly twice.
Cassie Pruyn is the author of Bayou St. John: A Brief History (The History Press, 2017) and the poetry collection Lena (Texas Tech University Press, 2017), winner of the Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in The Normal School, The Los Angeles Review, The Common, AGNI, Salt Hill Journal, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Portland, Maine, and a graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, she teaches at Bard Early College in New Orleans. (updated 8/2017)