a viking funeral for my goldfish by sarah pinter

A Viking Funeral for My Goldfish 


Like Odin caressing the infant world

His fins, reaching from horizon to horizon,

Owned all that they touched.

Inch by inch he conquered infinity,


Each degree of the glass orb, each shivering

Molecule of water, and he bore the runes

Of his myth on his scales. When Valhalla called

He should have a Viking funeral, I thought,


Thin column of smoke rising from his

Dwarf longship, though his wet body,

Like a holy relic, might refuse to burn.

Naturally, one pale morning


He went flaccid near the lip of the bowl.

His eyes had always held blankness, but the

Ghostly milk of his scales haunted me.

How long had this second face lain latent?


Shuddering, I spun his fleeting heroism

Down to oblivion. No ceremony else.

No monument left behind but a few

Loose scales in churning water.