BIGGER OCEANS 
by ELIZABETH HOYLE



 

I am the littlest fish

in the biggest ocean

and there are fisherman

everywhere

with tightly woven nets. 

My gills do not

like

the air.

When I have been caught

before,

they closed in on themselves

without the strength

to rise again. 

The day I hatched

my mother urged me 

from the egg, assuring

“This is the hardest thing.

It will get easier from here. 

Trust me.” 

I trusted; it did not get 

easier. 

I’ve heard there are 

bigger oceans 

where the shadows the boats

cast will never find me

and I will be able to surface,

to breathe 

the air there

as if it were water. 

The journey will be no small feat

for so tiny a fish.

My mother deserved my trust

but she was wrong.

There is always another

hardest thing

on this journey

until there are 

no more things. 

AUTHOR BIO:

Elizabeth Hoyle lives in southern West Virginia. Her fiction has been featured in Eunoia Review, Seaborne Magazine, Sledgehammer Lit, and other publications. Her nonfiction and poetry have been featured in 433, Versification, and Neuro Logical Literary Magazine, among other places. Find her on Twitter @ERHoyle or at elizabethhoyle.com.