Dining on Paradox

By Audrey Dinh
5th grade, Cold Spring Elementary School, MD
3rd place contest winner

With lines from "Our Fish" by Michael Snyder and Felipe Luna, a Pulitzer Center reporting project

I am dining on paradox,
Both a plague and a blessing.


A giant, invasive fish,
And yet this fish is also the future.


Driving native species into scarcity,
Yet jump-starting local economies.


An ecological disaster,
Yet an economic boon.


The top predator
In the slow-moving rivers
And oxbow lakes
Of the northern Amazon.

But the same fish
That has made villages
Like Trinidadcito and Riberalta
At least viable places
To live.

"It's something
That already

"There's nothing
To do.
There's no

I am dining on paradox,
I am dining on paiche.

And I can't help but think
What it means
To take a bite
Of this fish,
Of invasion,
Of the future,
Of this paradox,
Of this paiche.

Audrey Dinh
Audrey Dinh

Audrey Dinh is a 5th grader at Cold Spring Elementary School. Her interests include creative writing, doodling, and doing crafts. She was born in San Diego, California, and moved to Maryland shortly after, where she has gone to school for her whole life. She currently lives with her two older sisters, her mom, and her dad in Potomac, Maryland.

Read more winning entries from the 2019 Fighting Words Poetry Contest