Sweet little salmon, so fast and so swift;
She keeps up with the others so big and so strong.
Swims up strong river and jumps through the falls
And moves past others so big and so strong.
When thousands of miles past, when the most powerful even gasp,
She’s still out in front, ahead of the pack.
When her journey is done, and she turns toward the others with smiling eyes and salmon pride,
Eyes cut through her still.
Sweet little salmon, so fast and so swift, but not seen;
She keeps up with the others so big and so strong, to no avail;
Swims up strong river and jumps through falls alone,
And moves past others so big and so strong,
So when faced with her stare, eyes cut through her still.
She never spawns but is pushed out river toward jaws of death,
By those who notice her and say,
Sweet little salmon so small and so sad, only fit as a morsel.
Sweet little salmon tried hard like us, but she is too small, sick, and simple to swim with the pack.
Sweet little salmon please swim past jaws of death,
And swim back thousands of miles alone.
And begin again, for you and me.
For all of us deserve reprieve.
Earl Yarington (LMSW) is a social worker and school bus driver. He taught literature and writing for nearly 20 years and spent 3 years working in forensic social work internships with offending populations, including work at Delaware Correctional facilities and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He has a PhD in literature and criticism (feminism/women writers) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Master of Social Work from Louisiana State University, and an interdisciplinary Master of Liberal Arts from Arizona State University, where he studied the impact of visual image and girlhood in media/social media. He also has an MA and BS in English from SUNY College at Brockport. The opinions and analyses that Earl writes are his own and are not necessarily the positions or views of his employers, the agencies he supports, or that of his colleagues. Reach out with comments or questions.