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by Mary Brunini McArdle

I’d need at least an afternoon;
The task requires such affirmation,
And the joy of its resolution
So short-lived.

Never again so beautiful
As in its first few weeks -
A freshly set-up aquarium
With all its retinue.

I’d fill it with juvenile angelfish,
Half-grown, too young to squabble -
The marbled, blushing, and the black,
The golden and the ordinary silver.

And the water’d be so clean and clear -
The bubbles like untainted ice -
The fish would seem to be
Suspended in the air.

And then, at night,
I’d dream they really were:
Angelfish up in the sky,
Their burnished bodies everywhere;
Their fragile, elongated fins
Brushing the branches of the trees.

Copyright © 2005 by Mary Brunini McArdle

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