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

Since 1982, The New Criterion has nurtured and safeguarded our delicate cultural inheritance. Join our family of supporters and secure the future of civilization.

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