Okay, a little explanation of this one. The creative writing course I teach on runs a regular 'Just for Fun' section on its website. This morning, the course director asked me to contribute to the current topic 'The sardine poem'. The title comes from the fact that one of the writing exercises, in metaphor, is titled "My mother is an onion".

My mother is an onion, my wife is a sardine

"You remind me of a sardine," he said.

Well, I was hurt.
If he had to compare me to a fish
(A fish for goodness sake!)
Surely, surely, he could have chosen
Something with a little class?

A salmon, maybe,
Majestically battling adversity --
Struggling upstream towards fulfilment.
Or a trout, with
Sun sparkling off of
Kaleidoscopic, rainbow scales.

He could have called me a shark, swift and dangerous,
A peacockish angel fish,
Or perhaps, a regal koi,
Any of these, I thought,
Would be a simile that I could accept.

But a sardine?
Hardly glamourous,
Hardly flattering.
A work-a-day, dull fish
and - which is worse -
A convenient fish.

He smiled and lifted a hand,
Gently touched my cheek.
"I like sardines," he said.

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