One says it’s bad luck bringing them inside.
Another, worse to leave them out to freeze.
They winter in stout buckets in the garage,
A compromise of fortune and degrees.
Feng shui allows for no such middle way.
To cross a threshold is to find displayed
A tank stocked bright with fin and scale to draw
The flow of traffic, gold of trade.
Perhaps a fish is what you make of it.
As well a type of cracker, this kind has
Been gifted with uncommon range, beyond
What one expects of carp, such as
My mother’s father, gambler, deadbeat, drunk
Pulled out of dirty water, cleaned and fried,
A golden-brown of recompense, as much
As he could manage to provide.
J.D. Smith‘s fourth collection of poetry, The Killing Tree, was published in 2016. His other books include the essay collection Dowsing and Science (2011) and the children’s picture book The Best Mariachi in the World (2008). He is currently working on projects in poetry and prose and seeking publishers for collections of poetry and fiction. Smith works in Washington, DC, where lives with his wife Paula Van Lare and their rescue animals.