KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 4: Fall 2015
Prose Poem: 138 words

A Brief History of Starfish

by Glen Armstrong

When my daughters were young they never wavered when a goldfish died or something got at the babies in the birdhouse overnight. They never prayed their souls be kept by anyone before bedtime. At my mother’s funeral they viewed their grandma in her casket. They accepted this woman whom they loved reduced to hand puppet in her half-open box. They wanted to know where her legs were. But the starfish was different. There in the charged white sand that would only get hotter as the day passed. Beautiful creature stranded mere inches from its dark and secret world. They asked if it was dead or alive. I didn’t know. Something they’d never seen before in their father’s face kept them from asking if they could pick it up and take it home.

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