In Another Fish Tank
by Thomas O’Connell

Wherever I reside,
I am always in love
With the next
Town over, Coveting
My neighbor’s chamber
Of commerce. I eat

At the luncheonettes and
Frequent the barber
Shops, longing
For charging privileges
At the public library.

I buy squash
And local honey at
Their farmer’s market
And forgive them
The sulfuric stench emitted
From the match company.

When a storm puts their
Main Street two feet
Under water, I only
Feel compassion.
I don’t have to think

About getting my car
To higher ground and
Am free to worry: What
Will become of the windmill
At the miniature
Golf course?

SOURCE: Originally published in the (unfortunately now defunct) literary journal Gator Springs Gazette, issue 4/2005.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: There is a little bit of “grass is always greener . . . ” to this poem, but the other element that I wanted to convey is the connectedness of localities. So, even though it is not about the town I live in, it is about the links that allow communities to exist. I guess no island is an island either, and towns flourish in a sense of cross fertilization that feeds each town and its inhabitants.

PHOTOGRAPH: “Beacon, New York” by Mahopa.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thomas O’Connell is a librarian living on the banks of the Hudson River in Beacon, New York, where he happens to be the 2015-2016 poet laureate. His poetry and short fiction has appeared in Elm Leaves Journal, Caketrain, NANO Fiction, The Broken Plate, and The Los Angeles Review, as well as other print and online journals.