On a grassy hill, in a luxury seminary in Glenart,
I found, screened by trees,
a large stone pond.
The waters of solitude.

ten thousand times older than humanity,
the galaxy has rotated almost twice
since they first appeared.

They get two grudging notices in the Bible:
Tsephardea in Exodus,
Batrachos in the Apocalypse.
I will smite all thy borders with frogs.
I saw three unclean spirits, like frogs.

Their numbers have been hugely depleted,
principally by students.

Sever its brain.
The frog continues to live.
It ceases to breathe, swallow or sit up
and lies quietly if thrown on its back.
Locomotion and voice are absent.
Suspend it by the nose,
irritate the breast, elbow and knee with acid.
Sever the foot that wipes the acid away.
It will grasp and hang from your finger.

There is evidence that they navigate
by the sun and the stars.

This year, thirty-two, I said
"I'll be damned if Maureen has frogs"
and dug a pond.
Over eighty hatched, propped up with cat food.
Until the cats ate them.
It was only weeks later we discovered
six shy survivors.

The hieroglyph
for the number one hundred thousand
is a tadpole.

Light ripples down a smooth back.
La grenouille.

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