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Hospital, or Depression III


by John Riley


Yes sir, I confess there have been times
when I did not care how young the earth is
or take pride in how she sprang back to green
regardless of how hard the snow fought.
There have been times, yes, when I lacked the will
to notice such things and knew that below
the water's surface there is only more surface.
Today I had contempt for how the fish hurried to the far bank
as I approached and thought him silly to run away
when I only wanted to admire his wide innocent eyes. 
I called him a name under my breath and resolved
to tell others that fish will make them more alone.
I met no one to listen though and my thoughts burned away.
When I think of the fish now all I feel is envy at how
he darted away with an invisible flip of his tail,
and that his pond is the smallest of the three
we may visit when the weather permits.

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