sad news from the fish tank

My decision to take my fish to the big city was a good one. I'm glad I did not leave them behind in that empty room, and I am glad I didn't give them away. Mitch showed such kindness by catching all three fish-- Leigh, Blumarine (Penelope), and Happy (the Bastard), and placing them in a small container for the move. He cleaned out their dirty tank and filthy filter, and we packed it into our cars with the rest of my boxes and bags of belongings.

Upon settling into my apartment at DBU, I prepared new water in the fish tank and dumped the fish in, along with the water they had traveled in, because they were already used to it. I think they kinda went into shock for a little while. They soon recovered, for the most part.

Then, I attempted to get the filter going. This was to no avail, because I was soon to realize that the pump was broken. It would not suck in water. Mine and Mitch's efforts did nothing to fix the filter, and the fish were left swimming in dirty water, quickly using up the oxygen in the water. They each moved about slowly and differently. Blumarine swam all around the tank. Leigh swam an inch or two below the surface, sometimes rising to the top, and then sinking down an inch again. Happy, on the other hand, was not making the best of things. He was swimming around on his back, at the surface of the water. Now, that was NOT a euphemism for him being dead. Oh no, he was still alive, but he was choosing the breathe at the top of the water, and not move very much. Things were looking grim.

My mother and I went to Target to buy nice things and needed things for my apartment. We checked, but there weren't any fish tanks filters in the pet section. That night, after returning from watching "To Kill a Mockingbird" at Mitch's apartment, I walked into my apartment, and found that Happy was dead. He was still, and not sucking for air any longer. I lifted his heavy body out of the water with a container lid and carried him to the toilet, and flushed him away. It is sad that Happy did not survive the move. He will be missed.

Today I bought an even better filter. Mitch and I are going to buy a new fish.


poem for Burnet

All of the lively adventures
And journeys before this one
All of the lovely people
And places before here
Were each their own lesson
A part of a varied curriculum
And bared their subtle messages
On my curious and growing heart.
At twenty years old,
My adventure of late has been Burnet, TX.
A year goes by slowly
And years pass by quickly
Spent the last one in this little town
Spent the last one rising with the sun
Spent the last one on my own
In a setting full of strangers
A year ago on the eve of moving here
I was scared and unsure
You were
So small and unfamiliar
So friendly, but I felt alone
And my world shrank to
a carpet covered room
Where I spent time waiting
for my hair to grow
for my ministry to take off
for friends to be made.
For months I stirred about awkwardly
four months, six months,
And a year later, here we are
What a change has taken place
Who was I? Who am I now?
A year older, a smile prettier,
a shade wiser.
And now I know a bit more
Like how to live with a lady of 50.
And what a house broken dog drinks
And how he moves, and what he likes
And how to make him love you.
(the answer is sirloin steak).
Priceless days I've spent here
And asked myself things like,
How do teenage boys think?
More simply than I supposed
And what does it take to befriend them?
Feed them, love them in the most sisterly way
Give them an abundance of
Answers, adventures, and understanding
Late nights, muffins in the morning, and time
And teach them something new
I was befriended by the fearless
I watched a group of boys grow
How a year does pass.
Sweetly if one finds hidden treasures
Like I did, or did she find me?
A lovely young lady with beauty spilling over
How did I deserve this treasure?
Shy smiles, pretty dresses, shrieks of laughter
Paint days, cookings days, and sing-a-longs
My friendly fellow flower
Molly Fantastic, my sister true
Thank you for her, Burnet
Hidden hill country town
And thank you for all that I've met
all I've seen, and learned.
Suburban kids, riding bikes
Flying kites, getting into fights
Waving goodbye
Hard workin' men, helpful old ladies
I've learned their wrinkles, ways, and worries
Meanwhile, I've been teaching, and painting
Reading, singing, cooking
Biking, running, napping
Screaming, crying, learning
Days, days, days
Oh Burnet! Must I leave and still
have questions like--
How do your sunsets glow so orange
How do the rainbows double
How does the river sound so sweet
As it tumbles through the park
I'm primed to leave
But mournfully so
How do your people hug so close?
How do the bluebonnets multiply and grow?
How do the stars fall so often
On nights warm and clear?
How does a year pass by so quickly?
I'm on the eve of moving away
Burnet, sweet Burnet,
I hardly knew adventure before here.
Before I found the best climbing tree
And biked to the next town
Before I napped under trees
And watched the ants march around
Before I sipped Kiri's cappucino's
And watched my students grow.
Adventure did I know you?
A bit, but now I'm sure
Before Burnet, I'd made journeys,
I'd adventured in little ways.
But above them all,
You sit proud and bold.
Your people wrapped up
In memories, that feel like nice afternoon naps
Your mornings wrapped up
In memories, that feel like dewdrops on bare feet
Your streets wrapped up
In memories, that smell like honeysuckle
Will you remember me
In my yellow sweater?
I'll remember your worn blue jeans.
Will you remember me
And the silly dumb things I said?
I'll remember the stories you shared.
Will you remember me,
Like I'll remember you,
As the most lovely batch of characters?
Who'll decorate my future thoughts
Who'll prepare me for tomorrow
Who'll be in the pages I write and stow away.
You've been teachers, friends, and family
A lesson good and full
A chapter of my life
A blessing undeniably from God.
Forget me, Burnet, but I won't forget you.