Missing Frogs

Christopher Middleton

Little frogs
why don’t I hear you any more?

This is your time of the year.
It was your custom to croak.

All through the night, the throb.
Spellbound, repetitive, too,

I was in the house, enslaved.
A frog should croak in deep water.

Your creek was dry, you were frogs,
not princes, I was never a slave.

Where are your needling, primordial
contradictions? I heard them.

Your cry carved the vast sparkling
zero, then, into triangles.

I went into your beaks.
You do not have beaks.

Far back I tasted, bitter,
the green, the prancing, emergence.

The beginning was before us.
There were no developments.

We were qualities of darkness.
I did go into your beaks.

Now I am in the air around the house,
distressed in the coil of your legend.

Later I was driven out; never again
to be sure where the house is.

Still I cling to the cedar roots,
stalls, priedieus.

From creek walls they sprang out
and shook with your a capella.

My pads crisp for your woodbark.
I am thirsty for the hard mud.

Now your liquid voices call again:
disagree, disagree.