Templar poetry pamphlet competition;
in Solitaire 2007 anthology, Templar Press
A Frog He Would
‘All I want is an
omelette,’ my father used to say
my mother was cooking a gourmet meal.
didactyla, the world’s smallest frog
in debris on the forest floor in Brazil.
you do surprises me,’ my father said,
is why I have never resisted a challenge.
have crouched in cold rushing water
catch the mating dance of a Hylodes asper
his future mate hops onto my leg
if it were a rock. I saw them jump
the water together, legs entwined,
reach their particular heaven.
to Aristophanes, frogs chorused like this:
mating songs specify what kind of animal
are, what kind of mate they are seeking —
like the personal ads. Females prefer big strong males
choose a bass rather than a tenor.
male midwife toad attracts the females
he can wear their strings of eggs like beads
a rosary, around his thighs and heels.
my sister and I were born
parents would punt on the Thames,
soupy water running between my mother’s fingers.