I am rewriting my childhood,
holding it up to my eye
like a jam jar of sticklebacks.

Sunlight catches the glass—
the fish flash crimson and silver
as they twist and gasp
in a dazzle of golden light.

I carried it home,
the secret of life in a jam jar.

I am rewriting my childhood,
editing out the next day
and the day after
when the grey-brown sticklebacks
hung belly-upwards
in a cloud of watered-down milk.

A Message from the Editors

Your donation strengthens our efforts to preserve the gifts of our cultural heritage.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 4 Number 2, on page 49
Copyright © 2022 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com