Poem with Frogs
In a room with windows in each of four walls, a young man props his feet on the table.
The apple trees rattle.
The wind moves in waves past the garden
where okra and lettuce lie bent and bruised from the rain.
Where tomatoes and melons lie rotting.
Where the man lies rotting with wasps in his eyes.
Where nothing lies.
In a room with windows in each of four walls, a young man lies sprawled on a blanket, dreaming of frogs.
He bathes at night in a pond by a slippery elm, singing,
take them take me home foggy home froggy home.
The room has windows in two of four walls.
There are no crickets. No one sings.
Frogs troop through the fields riding the backs of iron turtles.
The apple trees snap in the high wind, split and lie down.
There is no room. No one is sleeping.
The apple trees lie like weeds in the yard.
A man sits with his hand on a calendar, turning the pages.
There is no pond.
He stands on the threshold watching the rain. There is no roof.
The crickets are singing.
The crickets are quiet.
The crickets have huge eyes.
He patches the roof and sleeps beneath it,
plants a field of melons by the pond.
There are no frogs.
He sits in a field of rain where turtles rust, says they will be waiting they
will wait forever by the river’s mud.
There are no turtles.
In a room without windows, a man sits with his thumbs in his eyes, says
I remember ribbons of dust.
There is no rain.
Says we will be found with flowers tucked behind our ears.
Says I still remember another spring
the slow wring of cast iron tears
bells in the morning seeking the blind
among tin thimbles of frost left on the hills
and trash piles burning in their little
hollows among the pines.
There were no pines.
There is no man.
The crickets remember nothing.
Poem, copyright © 2006 by David Bruzina
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2006, From the Fishouse