Don’t Mess With Poets

If you mess with a poet, you are likely to end up in a poem.


I know I’m not a typical fish. I swim different.

My suit is plain, polyester. Black.

I am polite to the other fishes, especially the slow ones

who show up every day and carefully swim their laps.


I hope to swim more conventionally someday.


But you

you with the white swim cap and a suit like mine

you crowded me to the lane’s edge this morning.

I moved over to make room. I was happy to share.

I always share. You didn’t budge. Stared me down.

“Can’t you do your water walking somewhere else?”

(I aqua jog!)

I looked at the kids in the shallow end and said, “I guess.”

Joined them and their new goggles.


It didn’t matter — even though I was there first —

until you let another fish share your lane,

a beautiful fish in a tropical suit with perfect form.


So, it’s just me?


Listen, lady.

You’re going to have to throw me out to shore tomorrow

over and over and over again and again and again

because you are not the only fish in the sea

and I share.


  1. Annoying! Poetic revenge , yes ? Or just poetic venting … Either way, you’ve got me riled up now, too . 🙂

  2. And she’s not the only suit in the pool. Stand your ground, Megan–or tread that wave. Something like that. I love how you got a poem out of this.

  3. I had to grin when I saw the title in my Google Reader – and grinned even more when I read it – I need to learn to be a poet!

  4. She’s wearing her white cap too tight. Otherwise she’d have known that the very best choice would have been to share your lane for a friendly visit.

    I love the way poetry watches out for you.

  5. Mean girls who turn into mean women make my blood boil! ACK! … I got a kick out of your title, though, and Bradley’s comment. She’s treading in deep water when she messes with you. 🙂

  6. open a big ole can o’ whoop.

    if need be, shake it



  7. Susan DiMickele says

    I am not going to mess with you. Ever. After reading this, I promise!

    I’d rather have you in my corner than end up in your poem! (But I wouldn’t mind both either….)

  8. Omigosh, I would love to see you do EXACTLY THAT. Push that swimcap right back! You go, Megan!

  9. brilliant…got the picture precisely!