Issue 44.2 Winter/Spring 2024

A Year Later

Tiny Frog

Our cedar-red shepherd stands sentinel at the window,
half-guarding, half-studying you in our dark garden—

you in your felt bathrobe and bare feet, you numb
to the bite of deep fall, you stomping after native frogs

on the flagstone, frogs drawn out of the woods 
by our firelight—Tree frogs, True frogs, Bullfrogs,

Wood frogs. Frogs soaked in moss and mud and fallen
leaves. Frogs sorrowless, frogs glossed in mid-Atlantic rain.

Frogs that freeze like figurines when the night grows loud
with sirens and wild geese, granting you sacred seconds

to crouch, to cradle one—tonight, a tiny leopard frog,
her mottled throat inflating, collapsing, inflating, collapsing

against the scarred pillow of your thumb—before, in fresh
quiet, she re-animates, leaping out of reach of your grief.


Photo by Samuel Giacomelli:…