Mel Goldberg: Goldfish Surgery

No one does surgery
on a goldfish.

When I had surgery and
went under the anaesthetic
I imagined it was like dying
as when my two pet goldfish sank
and were motionless
in the bottom of their tank . . .

I read that the oldest goldfish
on record lived to be 43,
which is exactly half my age.

I thought about taking them
to the veterinarian and
imagined a nurse in a white coat holding a mini-stethoscope
against their little chests,
and a doctor writing
a prescription for pills
to make them well.

I would like to have asked them
if they were satisfied
with their limited world
and the green rocks and the castle
and if they understood
life and death.