Bio Note: I’m a poet and novelist, originally from New Jersey but a Marylander for more than 30 years. Since retiring from teaching college English and writing, I’ve been able to plant a pollinator garden, watch bald eagles and terrapins from our back porch, and make sure the dog gets her afternoon treat at 2 p.m. every day. My poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies, and my book about women aviation pioneers, Where No Man Can Touch, won the 2015 Donald Justice Poetry Prize. I also have three published novels.
The latest of the world’s wonders: they’ve taught a goldfish to drive. Scientists set its little tank atop a cart that rolls in the direction the fish swims, in this case, toward the bright pink stripe painted on one lab wall. When the aquatic car touches the stripe, fish food is dispensed. So the goldfish goes to the drive-thru just like we do. What’s next? Seahorse interstates? Comb jelly traffic jams? Imagine tiny horns tooting. Imagine their road rage.
Half a Lifetime
Outside my window, the mockingbird runs through his impressive repertoire. My dad, who died fifty years ago, loved how Myron Floren played the accordion on Lawrence Welk. The bird, no entertainer, sings his rights to the holly berries. Yesterday I drove to the beach, our family ritual every summer Sunday after early mass. Now I prefer October for beachgoing. The sand is cool, the water warm. Pelicans loaf past the breakers. Monarchs waft south. A dad lobs a wiffleball toward his son. The metallic ping of the bat: the only sound aside from surf. Almost as quiet as church.
Originally published in Loch Raven Review Spring 2022
©2022 Pat Valdata
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