A tubby boy dangled

a pumpkin head perch

on a hook with a lively worm

and offered it a deal


“Okay, little fishy, if you tell me

a secret or two I’ll let you go

If you don’t I’ll cut off your head

with my birthday knife”


A stalemate ensued:

the boy intent on an answer;

the perch puffing and pursing


Not wanting to dirty his birthday blade,

only a few signs directly from nature,

the basic whats? whys? and wherefores?:

why earth was rather green, the stars rather silver,

the lad gritted his teeth, dug his boots firmly

in the mud by the farm pond,

revived his hostage with periodic dips

into the languid sheen of silent waters


A breeze blew through the afternoon,

frogs grunted, bugs buzzed,

the fish hung silent and slick

until the boy thirsted for cold lemonade


“Okay, Mr. Fish,

you slimy little bastard,”

the chubby boy conceded

in desperate need of a bologne sandwich


“Enough for now

You can have my worm

But one day, I swear,

I will own the secrets

you hold in your eyes”