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.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 4 Number 2, on page 49
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