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In the dining room there is a brown fish
hanging on the wall who swims along
in his frame while we are eating dinner.

He swims in candlelight for all to see,
as if he has been swimming forever, even
in the darkness of the ink before someone thought

to draw him and the thin reeds waving in his stream
and the clear pebbles strewn upon the sand.
No wonder he continues his swimming

deep into the night, long after we have
blown out the candles and gone upstairs to bed.
No wonder I find him in the pale morning

light, still swimming, still looking out at me
with his one, small, spellbound eye.


Billy Collins, “Print” from The Art of Drowning. Copyright © 1995 by Billy Collins. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press, www.pitt.edu/~press/.
Source: The Art of Drowning (1995)
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