The Rainbowfish

A ripple, breaking through the surface.

A silvery stripe, flying through the air,

and then it’s gone, just as quickly as it had come.

The lake’s quiet, calm surface makes me shudder.

I dip a toe into the murky, uncertain water, and shiver.

Another ripple, a silver stripe.

Here. There. Gone.

Minnows are everywhere.

The ripples send an eerie silence,

followed by a cool, clammy gust of wind,

shoving itself up my spine.

Another ripple, this time far away.

Plunk! Now, I hear a loud splash.

Minnows have always been so quiet, so mysterious.

I rush over to the ripple waves, dancing in the water.

But the fish is gone.

Pulled from my grasp like water through my fingers.

Plunk! I’m sure it’s the same fish.

I run over just in time to see a shiny, coated color,

I can’t make out what color it is.

Then, as he disappears beneath the murky water,

I sigh in defeat, and wait.

My heart is pounding, and the wind ripples through my hair.

I sit on the edge of the lake, waiting.

I wait until the sun goes down,

until stars start peeking out from the dark sky.

But there is no ripple.

No Plunk!

No splash, as I sit and wait.

I wait for hours,

and as I’m just about ready to give up,

I see it again.

A larger fish than the nearby minnows,

the beauty darts through the air

right in front of my face,

sending a splash my way.

But I don’t care.

My picture is all I need.

Proof that there are more fish than minnows in this lake.

Proof that other life exists,

that all my friends had said about minnows was wrong.

I glance at the photo coming from the old Polaroid,

and I see that I was right.

The rainbowfish seems to dance and gleam,

even in the black-and-white photo.

I smile and shake my head,

and as I head for home,

I catch a streak of rainbow in the corner of my eye.


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