6.08 / July 2011

Valley Girl Meets Goldfish

At the school carnival
she won three goldfish
bearing them home
in a wire handled carton
once reserved
for Chinese takeout.

Cleaning the dimestore fishbowl
in the kitchen sink
fish one flopped to the drain
then disappeared
fish two overfed exploded
fish three blooming
with optimism
having lived seven days
was devoured by Muffin
the family cat.

This cautionary tale
suggests that goldfish should
like stay away from carnivals
seriously prefer losers over winners
and omigod totally avoid
valley girls.


Roger Camp has taught Literature and/or Photography at Eastern Illinois University, Columbus College of Art & Design, University of Iowa and the Cite Internationale Universitaire de Paris. His poems have appeared in The Midwest Quarterly, North American Review, The Hiram Poetry Review, Poetry Quarterly and are forthcoming in Nimrod, The Evansville Review and South Carolina Quarterly.