Frogs

This is not a poem about how my father built

a roundhouse and used it as a garage.

Nor is this a poem about how he dug a pit

in its cold clay, lapping its walls

with brieze blocks and pink cement.

 

This is not a poem about how he cut a sump

in its northeast corner, setting a pump

to chuckle away its oily damp.

 

This is not a poem about how with us

in early morning frogs would come

from the dazzling grass to shelter

in that earth-smelling cloister; or how

we would find them trapped, lying

like tarry leaves against the concrete,

their eyes milky, uncaring stars.

 

Nor is this a poem about how one June

we worked together, fixing the suspension

on my beat-up red Fiesta, him

on one end of a bolt and me on the other,

until at last the bolt siezed and we resolved

to drill and break through the holding nut.

 

No, this is a poem about how

as he drilled the frogs watched

those bright scarves of metal fall from the bit;

how, dumbfounded by his love

reaching down into their prison they looked

and shivered and were not moved.

© Meirion Jordan