Fish Ladder

They have travelled

so far already,

battered bodies

fighting current


pushing upriver

when life calls them home


- some of them sooner than average,

jacks who take one for the team,

a dance with diversity.


No head or arms

to distance them

from thrust,

their only hope of rising

is full-bodied leap.


Obstacles crafted

to ease their journey,

each small barrier

unknowably tall,

each landing a pause

for more courage.


I can only assume

that salmon have no room

for despair,

no reservoir of doubt

or futile view;

their journey

full of ardour

propels them,

a bellyful of yearning

providing alignment.


Give me the wise blindness

of immersion,

a wild commitment

to my own arduous thrashing,

the freedom

to surrender into suffering

my own sweet homecoming.

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