For this author, creative endeavors have been sorely tested by motherhood. But also transformed, and in ways she wouldn’t have imagined – couldn’t have, without her life “rewritten” as it has been, by her children. So linger here, to read all things weaverly, writerly and motherly.


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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Resurrected Fish

This week Trifecta's word challenge is "decay":

She'd forgotten all about that – burying all her deceased salt-water fish in the flower bed. Her three clownfish, two blue damsels with those yellow tails she loved to watch flickering in the watery light when she was up nights sleepless. Even the large spotted grouper who'd reflected back her own baffled looks. Back then.They'd all died that first year she'd been trying to get pregnant, and she'd actually sent her husband out with a garden trowel to bury them. It had been his idea, anyway, to set up the aquarium, as if fish could distract her from the fact that they seemed unable to conceive. It wasn't an act of punishment making him bury them.

She just couldn't face how she imagined the fish looked going into the ground, still gleaming and brilliant under the cold light of a winter sky.And all the time that they were going through IVF, she would look out the window while doing dishes and could never imagine the fish actually decaying. Only their brilliance. Their circle eyes wide with terror under the earth.Now she had dug up their bones as she'd been preparing this small flower bed for fall bulbs to bloom in spring. They'd been large fish so the bones were clearly bones, not sticks.Her son came over. He was still young enough to like digging in the dirt. She told him the truth, that they were fish bones from pet fish she once had before he was born."You buried them? Why'd you flush mine?"He'd been devastated when she'd merely flushed his beta fish down the toilet.She lied. "They were too big to flush."Well, a half lie. The real truth was that at the time she'd never imagined this would happen; that years later she'd be resurrecting a burial ground with her son. With the child she'd thought she'd never be able to conceive.

Love writing fiction? Come link up with Sandra's new writing workshop hop!


De jackson (WhimsyGizmo) said...

This is a great piece, Sandra. I felt her remembrance of longing vividly, and then the wonder of looking back. Nicely done.

Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Oh, lovely. We have a few fish and crabs and, yes, even hamsters in our flowerbeds. I never dig too deeply.

Lynn Proctor said...

what a touching creative masterpiece!

Gina said...

Love this, Sandra! Especially the little boys presence after the heartache of IVF. We have a Beta fish, Henrietta, and I often wonder what I will do the day she becomes a "floater". Most probably, she'll go by way of the toilet as well.

Tara R. said...

This was a beautiful look at infertility, and the ways this mother dealt with her heartache.

Annabelle said...

What a poignant moment -- the vivid reminder of that past, contrasted with the joy of the present. I was really caught by the phrase "circle eyes wide with terror under the earth." Nicely done.

laila said...

Wonderful. I'm learning a lot from your writings:)

The Gal Herself said...

I was so happy and relieved when her little boy entered the scene. You really involved me in the saga of her infertility.

Anonymous said...

I was happy when you revealed she had a son. I could see them in the garden and the fish bones in the dirt.

P.S. my son had two betta fish. My husband flushed both (I couldn't do it.)

Kathy said...

Funny how kids wonder why after the fact and then you have to explain yourself. I always love your stories..and I loved this one too.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for linking up to Trifecta this week. I love how you dealt with the experience of infertility through the story of a child and his pet. Love is love, and loss is loss. Nicely done. Hope to see you back again soon.

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