At the Cleveland Aquarium

Warm words can fill our hearts
far quicker than cool heads. I hide
from darker thoughts, cresting waves
of doubt masked as false pride
that feasts on dregs of self-esteem.

On frequent visits to Cleveland Aquarium
my dad and I watched all manner
of sea creatures sliver, bob, cavort
in their wet prisons. We journeyed through
dank underwater labyrinths, emerging
into brash daylight by pools, where slick seals’
cheerful barks and crazy antics
nearly served as antidotes for murkiness.

I asked Daddy how so-called electric eels
could light their glass-walled homes
without benefit of cords or bulbs or switches.
He said the staff put batteries in all their food,
and I believed him, as I did
about so many things.

About the Poet:

Barbara Saxton has worked as a translator, financial consultant, and educator. She is now a retired English teacher, singer, dancer, relentless outdoor enthusiast, and published poet (Dual Exposure – 2015 – and various literary journals/anthologies).

She lives in Mountain View, California, with her husband Owen and a cat named Kolo. Their two adult sons reside in San Jose and San Francisco.

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