An early April day, arms full of grocery bags,
frost in the air not yet done,
I walked toward the house, stopped,
stunned by the sudden sight,
their gleaming bodies
laid out across rocks rimming the fountain
like civil war soldiers
waiting to be recognized and buried.
The porch where I sat evenings
watching the small waterfall
leech through rocks
frothing into a pool rimmed with tiger lilies
was far from soothing now.
How to know the autumn before
ice would seal a wet tomb
before those innocents could escape?
A city girl, I couldn’t warn them
or know of nature’s ways.
Bags fallen at my feet, I spotted him
through our picture window
sitting casually New York Times in hand.
How he loved the crossword puzzle,
its setup of boxes, the clean neat lines,
the completion of tiny words,
the supposition of victory.
This was complete, too:
death at the end of long years,
memories frozen over with no future
laid out to view.
He thought those frogs were a warning
but they were only seeking a proper burial,
of what was long deceased.
First published in THE WRITING DISORDER Summer 2015
A Wake of Frogs