Ode to a Madtom

“Ode to a Madtom”

Robert L. Doty

(By Permission)


Not quite Venus, she hid herself

In a mussel shell in the shoals

Of Green River, secure with barely a crack

To bring the light, safe from all

The water’s risks.  But the boys, with

Unerring knack, picked up the shell

And delivered her to land.  A foundling,

She seemed at ease in her hideaway

As they presented her.  A madtom with

Barbels and horns and as much dignity

As a beauty from old Cyrus’ waves,

Graciously returning to the Green.