Bad (luck) comes in threes
Timeline: How the Tragedy Unfolded
It was a love triangle of sorts,
a man, a wife, a fish.
While news of America’s deadliest shooting spree
droned on in the eleven o’clock hour,
my husband massacred the goldfish,
my orange bubble-eyed lover.
The black goldfish floated to the top
after the dinner dishes were rinsed,
an unexplained loss, his reputation
for gathering and holding a home’s death
in the color of his fins
To console, my husband, fish master,
brought in the buckets and hoses.
Outside, sirens wailed, firemen rushed
past, en route to drain another basement flooded
by a surprise Spring nor’easter.
“None of us thought it was gunshots,”
the college sophomore said.
But within seconds the source of the sound
became clear, when a gunman entered the lecture hall,
shot the professor before turning his guns on students.
Inside, grief counseling began with a sharp intake
of breath, water rushing up and out
of the tank, out with the bad, in with the good.
Scrubbing algae, stink of fish death
off the glass walls drowns
out the tinkling notes of the television’s death toll.
Too late, a wayward fish swims upstream,
headlong into the syphon.
“I’m not sure how long it lasted.
It felt like a really long time,
but was probably only a minute or so.”
Dumb luck sucks his beady eye
out of it’s socket.
Red lights flash, another house flooded,
another party of rescuers dispatched.
Before he can be netted and iced,
friends of the goldfish eat his hanging eye.
Nature takes care of its own.
The people of Blacksburg struggled to find order
in the wake of the shooting.