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Kettle of Fish

written by: Heidi Dare



Observing from a corner

In our local coffee shop

I overheard white-haired women

Discussing a recent tragedy.

He was a teacher in Carrolton.

They were separated.

He thought she had a lover.

He went to her home at 3am.

He stabbed her to death

Then shot himself.

"Pretty kettle of fish," they said,

As though this violent theft

Was something frivolous -

A nuisance, a mess,

Not the bloody end of an entire universe

Viciously ripped from its house of flesh.


My mother just left

The abusive alcoholic

Who once choked her

In front of her children.

Her naked baby stood up wailing,

Shaking arms spread in terror

Dripping soapy suds and tears

Into the half-filled kitchen sink.

Should my father get drunk and

Suspect an affair,

Or realize my mother will never come back,

Or expecting divorce, fear for his fortune -

I do not doubt for a moment

He would steal her life,

Splatter her insides onto a wall,

Or shred her body with steel and rage.

My mind is slick with her future carnage.

All I can do is hope she is careful.

Pretty kettle of fish.

Heidi Dare

Heidi Dare

How can I sum up the complexity of my life in this tiny spot? How can anybody? Fine - here are some things that might help another human get the jist - I was raised in an alcoholic family. I am still getting over it. That experience has given rise to anxiety, depression, a great sense of humor and somehow a tendency towards enjoying the ridiculous. Overall, I just try to love my fellow humans and strive for internal peace. Sounds boring but it fits the bill. Someday I would like to publish an anthology of poetry. That would just tickle me to death. It really would.
Heidi Dare

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