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Fish Birth

Dreamed c.1978/11/15? by Katherine Metcalf Nelson

Goldfish tail breaks off and the wound looks vaginal; dream-art by Katherine Metcalf Nelson.


Inside a round glass fishbowl, a fancy goldfish with a Baroque tail flutters
frantically above dark stones. Too large for the bowl, she can't breathe
in so little water. My four-year-old son reaches in to pick her up by the tail.
Skin tears loose. The fish drops on the floor. She flops desperately until
I put her back in the bowl. Pain. Fear. Anguish. She will die
of suffocation on the kitchen floor.

A large cut exposes pink flesh along the backbone. Tail separates from body.
In agony she darts around, leaps into the air, and again falls onto the floor.
In death throes, she moans like a frightened little girl.

In the midst of suffering, she turns into my daughter who faces me
wearing white underpants. She places her hand on her sore crotch.
From child to woman is this the secret?

Source: Katherine Metcalf Nelson's Night Fishing, 1997, p.13. Undated, but between dreams dated 11/8 & 11/25.
Foot of illustration reads: "The tail of this innocent goldfish fell off to reveal a very old symbol."

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