What It Means to Be Human

Maree Reedman
I wake to a dead cockroach in my glass,
my only concern whether I drank its water. 
Scientists record how long mice swim in bottomless tanks
before they drown, cut parts of fishes’ brains 
to see if they feel pain. And the boy who bludgeons halibut 
on his father’s fishing boat, until they stop thrashing. 
People boil live lobsters. How do they stand 
the creatures’ frenzied claws 
clanging against the steel pot? 
Still, I eat fish. Still, I inflict pain.
This is how I live with myself,
a hook inside my mouth.

Maree Reedman lives in Brisbane with one husband, two cockatiels, and five ukuleles. Her poetry, fiction and memoir has been published in the United States and Australia in various magazines and journals such as Chiron Review, Naugatuck River Review, Unbroken, Stickman Review, Grieve, Hecate, StylusLit, The Big Issue and has won Ipswich Poetry Feast awards.



%d bloggers like this: