Dumb Salmon

Dumb Salmon

A Poem by Kherry McKay

     Copyright © 2009 by Kherry McKay






Dumb Salmon

 

 For Vesna

 


I love impossible odds. . . .
For love prospects, I hope for women in different countries,
beautiful callipygian types with men yearning for them:
gents with muscles and bucks and GQ haircuts.
My odds are a billion to one.
I love those odds!

Currently, I
m longing for a friend on Facebook.
She lives in Belgrade.
It would take me two years to save enough money to
visit her,
to fly to Serbia and introduce myself.
Her Facebook page is filled with strapping Romeos, beaus
in the midst of celebrity-like strains to woo her.
These guys have
Ph.D day jobs and model part-time in the evenings.

Consider the male Chinook salmon.
He dies right after mating. This is called semelparity
but in high school we just called it
the breaks.

A salmon
s very life is a billion to one.
Thousands and thousands of his brothers and sisters
have died along the way, but he
muscles his way upstream
for hundreds of leagues
as more of his virile relations croak in dam hydrovents
or from sheer exhaustion—
Sex can't be that great! they cry fishily to themselves and go belly up.

But our hero Chinook gives it everything he
s got,
reaching the pretty female spotted salmon in her quiet redd,
a contemplative part of the stream.
There, she has laid her eggy roe in the sandy river bottom.
He lays down his milt and dies,
and if you
ve got to go, thats probably the best way
to.

Back to my cute Serb longshot.
This poem could be about my triumphant trek to her mountain stream,
over miles and miles of ocean and thousands of miles
of riverway;
of my muscles and ingenuity and sheer willpower to
make it upstream to her, to show my masculine prowess,
my worthiness to share my milt,
or just to give her a toothy salmon grin and
feel special for a brief moment before I perish to see God.

But the truth is, salmon are just plain dumb.
Their brains weigh about a gram
and are programmed to do only two things: eat and mate.

Even my Serbian love is probably shaking her head
as if to say my hoping for her
only proves
I have the prospects of a dumb fish, and she
s looking
for something a lot
smarter than that,
even a worn out
Oncorhynchus could tell you.


 

 

 

 

 

 Take a look at more of Kherry McKay's writing in the Cafe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2009 Kherry McKay


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Added on March 16, 2009
Last Updated on March 19, 2009