‘DELAWARE: SHOULDOF/COULDOF’ & ‘DIALOGUE WITH A TROPICAL FISH’ by Vern Fein

Tallinn_hippie.jpg

DELAWARE: SHOULDOF/COULDOF

Based on a movement by hippies to take over Delaware back in the day

The hippies shouldof taken over
Lord de la Warr’s state ,
couldof in the iconic 60’s.

Longed to take over a small, beautiful paradise.
Import:
Free love, anti-war, peace symbols,
psychedelic buses, hitchhiking environmental hearts,
pot-imbibing, hallucinogenic,
yoga-driven, Maharishi,
White Rabbit, Sgt. Pepper trippy music,
vegetarian,
long-haired, braless, dirty jeans, tie-dyed shirts,
non-bathed, sandaled feet selves
to that state,
teach the Fighting Blue Hen meditation
so she would mellow out.

Wanted to create an Eden in the East,
fresh water rivers, pristine forests, fertile soil,
paradise of small towns,
first site of log cabins,
first to ratify the Constitution,
stirring Underground Railroad history.

Small enough to conquer at the ballot box,
legislate total freedom,
no need for guns,
place a flower in the voting booth,
smile as you left.

Why didn’t we?

DIALOGUE WITH A TROPICAL FISH

My wife dragged me to a birthday party where I knew no one.
I noticed a fish, alone, glaring in the tank behind me,
a beautiful, black angel fish.

“I know you,” she said.
“You kill my sisters and brothers, throw baited hooks at them,
ignore their staring eyes, butcher them even when still alive.
You would do that to me, but no one catches tropical fish.
If we were not small and beautiful and could be eaten,
you would swing hooks before us, reel us in triumph.”

I fought back: “I love tropical fish,
hope my retirement includes the Great Barrier reef,
colorful art gallery in the ocean.
I would love to swim with them.”

But I could deny nothing, thought of the tackle box I got for Father’s Day,
celebrative family fish dinners, vacations to the lake, a tradition from my Father,
fat stringer pictures on my computer gallery.

I knew I would not change.
I wanted to tell her that’s just the way the world is,
plead my humanity.

My wife brought me a drink, pulled me toward someone
I will never remember.

The angel turned her back, swam away.

Vern Fein is a retired teacher, who has published over sixty poems and short pieces on a variety of sites, a few being: *82 Review, The Literary Nest, Bindweed Magazine, Gyroscope Review, VietNam War Poetry, Ibis Head Review, Spindrift, Former People, 500 Miles, and The Write Launch, and has non-fiction pieces in Quail Bell, The Write Place at the Write Time, and Adelaide, plus a short story in the the online magazine Duende from Goddard College.

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