What is a Fact?



A fact is a fish on ice. 
We can all see its glassy eye. 
We can all feel its razor-edged fins.
We can all smell its sea-salty past. 
A fact is raw.
It can be baked, grilled, or fried,
but we can all agree we are eating fish. 
Perhaps you like fish,
perhaps you don’t,
but there it is—
staring up at you. 


© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2019, all rights reserved

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18 replies
  1. Linda Baie
    Linda Baie says:

    Yep, it’s a fact. I was rather young when I encountered my first fish prepared in a restaurant, that eye staring. It was not pleasant, but I have become used to the “fact”. Love this, Liz. “A fact is raw” perhaps not exactly about fish?

  2. Carol Varsalona
    Carol Varsalona says:

    Nicely packed poem, Elizabeth. I have had many an encounter with a fish staring up at me when I go to a nearby town to buy the fresh fish that comes off the fishing boats in the summer. One of my funniest encounters is when I was given a fish head after my fish was filleted so that I could make soup (eye and all). Whew!

  3. Alan j Wright
    Alan j Wright says:

    There is an expression ‘everything is interesting’ to a writer. The glassy eye of a fish for one. A fish eye has a Mona Lisa quality about it for no matter where you stand it still appears to be looking back at you. Great noticing Liz. I personally can’t eat fish .but I certainly find them interesting and I thank you for celebrating them with your fish facts. Your fish facts are not fake or for that matter- ‘fishy.’

  4. Heidi Mordhorst
    Heidi Mordhorst says:

    Kaboom–a stroke of brilliance, metaphor in service of logic.
    Tuesday morning–my latest PF comments ever! I’m owning it.

    We are working on distinguishing fact and opinion in 2nd grade, and while they get it, mostly, by feel, this poem and photo will help them to understand what a fact is under all its uses, including in the support of opinion.
    “A fact is raw.
    It can be baked, grilled, or fried,
    but we can all agree we are eating fish.”

    Thank you, Liz!


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