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Catching Frogs

ISSUE:  Spring 1990
I crouched beside the deepest pool,
and the smell of damp and moss
rose rich between my knees. Water-striders
creased the silver-black silky surface.
Rapt, I hardly breathed. Gnats
roiled in a shaft of sun.

Back again after supper I’d see
a nose poke up by the big flat stone
at the lip of the fall; then the humped
eyes and the perceptibly green head,
freckled brown. The buff membrane
pulsed under the jaw while the subtleties
of timing played in my mind.

With a patience that came like grace
I waited. Mosquitoes made moan all
around. Better to wait. Better to reach
from behind. . . . It grew dark.

I came into the warm, bright room
where father held aloft the evening
paper, and there was talk, and maybe
laughter, though I don’t remember laughter.


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