The little girl’s arm was just long enough to touch the top of the lake. She lay at the end of the pier on her stomach, with one arm and her head floating over the edge. Both feet kicked the air in a steady rhythm. She tapped that same rhythm onto the water, one finger at a time.
The Payne’s gray sky cast a languor over her town, and soon she would be called back inside.
Why was this Friday afternoon so boring?
Within the dark drum in front of her, she saw a glowing fish radiating an orange luminescence. She beamed a smile and waved at the tiny creature.
It swam away. She pouted a tut, but bowed her frown, aware of the wistful fated nature of all things.
She stood up to leave, but before turning she spotted the fish again, in its mighty illumination. She smiled and waved, and as she did the entire lake lit up in a cauldron of flaming fish. They swam around, an oil painting alive right before her eyes. Her hands came up to her wowed cheeks as she laughed with euphoric glee.
And as soon as it had come it went, and only the one gleaming fish remained.
The little girl said thanks, and the fish departed.
by Aleksander Mielnikow
Living organisms that illuminate are considered bioluminescent, and it's a fascinating phenomenon. Though glowing fish are more often found in the ocean than in lakes, and they surely don't communicate with little girls... or do they?
If you liked this poem, you'll probably also like "Giggles" and "Dear Daughter of Mine."