glass-bottom boat

by Trish Hopkinson

my daughter hurls herself into a school of fish
snorkel ready, fins fastened, goggles sealed

i hug my coors light on the deck
in awe that i exist at all, floating somewhere

in a cove, perfect for swimming with the fishes
the sides of the boat lapping in sickening rhythm

alone, i venture below, silver can clutched
investigate the glass bottom on all fours

a viewing for the fearful, the aged, the weak
the plexiglas, inches thick, distorts the gray-

blue expanse and its numerous fingertips
to pull into its endless abyss

sure, some fiercely colored fish
whirl by—but mostly i look for hints of humanity

—a bobbing life jacket, feet paddling
girl-hair spreading on the surface in sunlight

— from Juniper Volume 3, Issue 1