Writing the Walls -

January Thaw - Donna Barkman

A fish on ice is a frozen fish praying to a fishy god for warmth

while lying on the silvery glaze and lying about belief – so what

It’s there with its three companions – fish-shaped detritus –

waiting for the earth to turn its stubborn face to the sun

finally bringing warmth enough to melt the frigid sheet

to float away the springs beneath, stupid springs

without so much as a mattress for support – just more ice

Beneath it all - finally - pond water that will welcome

fins, scales, a flapping tail and gills to breathe

and the icy fish will swim into the freedom of its dreams

knowing well it’s only a dream and a January thaw

is nothing but a lie

Image: Katinka Bock, Grosse Liegende, 2017

Bronze ceramic, metal

10.3 x 73 x 53.5 inches