Watching a Fish on a Cutting Board – Amanda Oosthuizen

Watching a Fish on a Cutting Board

Tipped, no fingers,
onto a white, plastic cutting
board, utilitarian,
not like the fish at all, it lies,

a glamorous bulging muscle;
silky, black fan of a tailfin; lipless
mouth; wiry tiara gills and a silver-
rimmed, lidless eye. An envelope slit

along its belly, awaiting
tarragon, seasalt, pepper,
a splash of balsamic, maybe
a dollop of crème fraîche.

It never lurked amongst swaying
ribbons of weed or battled the wash
of the river. It sprang to a feeder
with five hundred others.
One measly life with a plastic,
cutting board


Amanda Oosthuizen’s creative work has appeared in Under the Radar, 3:AM, Ambit, on the London underground, in galleries, Winchester cathedral, and Humanagerie amongst others. She earns her living by writing/arranging music and teaching woodwind. @amandaoosty

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