A Smile To Remember

we had goldfish and they circled around and around
in the bowl on the table near the heavy drapes
covering the picture window and
my mother, always smiling, wanting us all
to be happy, told me, 'be happy Henry!'
and she was right: it's better to be happy if you
but my father continued to beat her and me several times a week while
raging inside his 6-foot-two frame because he couldn't
understand what was attacking him from within.

my mother, poor fish,
wanting to be happy, beaten two or three times a
week, telling me to be happy: 'Henry, smile!
why don't you ever smile?'

and then she would smile, to show me how, and it was the
saddest smile I ever saw

one day the goldfish died, all five of them,
they floated on the water, on their sides, their
eyes still open,
and when my father got home he threw them to the cat
there on the kitchen floor and we watched as my mother

by Charles Bukowski

Comments (7)

:) It is strange how sometimes this happens to people speaking the same language... :) Nice written.
not that I have any porblem with it, though :) hope that isn't misunderstood.
I must admit that Japanese people ARE the most annoyingly polite folk.I have a friend who listens so courteously to everything I say that i wish he'd tell me to shut up and go away instead. another friend of mine is in the process of learning kanjis-they have 8000 characters.what a crazy language.
Very funny...and very well written. I'm assuming that it is true. Raynette
Well in two months, japanese people could ask me about translations (i'm learning the language which isn't as tough as you may think) ... I may give them some bad translations, but at least they'd be better than Nakumawa (ot whatever his name is) . Nice poem (y) Made me laugh a bit.
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