Motherhood Literature + Art

Paulette A. Pashibin – Poetry

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Beta splendens (Siamese Fighting Fish)

by Paulette A. Pashibin


Beautiful carnivores:
curious, watchful,
with strange appetites.

Females eat their eggs.
Strong males build bubble nests,
fortresses against mother hunger.

All are selectively bred —
like you, daughter —
for specifically desired traits.

They are called Delta,
Halfmoon, Veiltail —
exotic names, like yours.

But make no mistake, names
can’t change these Rumblefish.

Even they find it hard to discern
their flirts from their fights.

Here’s the twist in our fishbowl:

I tried to be both he and she,
And the little egg ate its mother.

Paulette A. Pashibin is a poet and visual artist whose written works appear in anthologies, journals, and on-line literary publications. She has self-published five chapbooks and often reads in public venues, and local radio. Her visual works often contain her poetry in glass and picasiette mosaics; they are exhibited in Minnesota galleries and art cafés. She received her MFA from Hamline University and is presently working on a manuscript concerning mother/daughter relationships.


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