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In the tub this morning with toddlers

by E. A. Pugh


We had bubbles up to our ears.
Tall tales grew,
bubbles from our noses we blew.




Momma told the story of a salmon with her hands
thumbs up and waggling hand
in the bathtub up the imaginary river
the salmon swam.
Red and wiggling splashing hand.
Momma’s hand laid salmon eggs in the riverbed.

The salmon hands stops wiggling
and the salmon dies
and Momma’s salmon hands drift with the tide
down the bath tub
Dead salmon hands sheepishly eaten by the children with big listening eyes,
little girl was a bear who ate Momma’s salmon story hand
little boy was a fox who ate the dead red salmon hand.
Sad faces of children who felt the story end.
In the bath we felt the end of the salmon after they spawned.
Sad children faces.
But, that not where the story ends.

Momma’s finger tips splished back up the river.
eggs eggs splishing splashing salmon hatchlings.
In joy Momma made finger tips splashing into hatchlings at the place in the imaginary river where big salmon had come, to turn red, lay eggs,
and land into flowing river tide
and into the mouth of a human child bear
and human child fox.

Fingertips tinkling in the water
hatchlings grow bigger and hide along the river’s edge hide in the grass and branches
fingertip salmon babies
Everyone’s fingertips joyfully turn to salmon hatchling
splashing and hiding
growing

one finger tip bathtub hatchling was eaten by a fish
one finger tip salmon eaten by a frog and
one fish got sick and died.

The splishing fingertip salmon in the bathtub
grew into hands with the thumb sticking up.
Momma’s hands gliding in the bathtub children
wide eyed. Big fish found the way back down the river
in the bathtub. Six salmon hands swim to
the ocean.

A few years later the salmon begin to feel red and find that same river where their parents died
child hands and Momma hands with thumbs up swim back up the bathtub river and glide to the spot where they were born
to turn red lay eggs and die
slide down in the bathtub river
to be eaten by a child bear and a child fox.

Such is life my child, and is life of salmon too.
God has made this planet for you.
Wide eyed the children played out the tale of the Salmon spawning in the bathtub again and again rejoicing in the spring time of twinkling finger hatchlings.

04/05/2011

Author's Note: another day at work

Posted on 04/06/2011
Copyright © 2019 E. A. Pugh

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Alison McKenzie on 04/06/11 at 02:54 PM

This is magic at its best!!!

Posted by Anita Mac on 04/06/11 at 03:11 PM

Fun and truth all wrapped up together. An adorable and poignant tale. ^_^

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