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The Year of Downstream Swimming

This one drive,
my father put the radio on,
to replace the other sounds,
and there was news from Norway,
speaking of the fish –
there would be less that year.


Too bad, I thought.
Too bad it’s the salmon
dying off this year,
my father’s favorite.
Too bad they swam
downstream instead of up.
And too bad, my father thought.
Too bad my favorite fish is
flopping up dead on the banks
like my real estate.


I don’t know what my mother thought.


My brother,
who never ate a fish in his life
and hated silence, asked:
Norway?
They bring the fish from Norway?


And nobody said a word to him.
Not even the radio
which crackled like a laugh
and died.

-Netanel Schwartz

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