You take a kitchen-mallet
and a knife
the right spot, so it doesn’t jerk, for
jerking means only complications and reduces profit.
And the watchers already narrow their eyes, already admire the
already reach for their purses. And paper is ready
for wrapping it up. And smoke rises from chimneys.
And Christmas peers from windows, creeps along the ground
and splashes in barrels.
Such is the law of happiness.
I am just wondering if the carp is the right creature.
A far better creature surely would be one
which—stretched out—held flat—pinned down—
would turn its blue eye
on the mallet, the knife, the purse, the paper,
the watchers and the chimneys
say something. For instance
These are my happiest days; these are my golden days.
The starry sky above me and the moral law within me,
And yet it moves.
Or at least
Miroslav Holub, “Brief reflection on killing the Christmas carp” from Poems Before & After. Reprinted with the permission of Bloodaxe Books Ltd., www.bloodaxebooks.com.
Source: Poems Before and After
(Bloodaxe Books, 2006)