i found a little, dessicated frog.
its legs, its body, leathered by the sun.
it wasn't dead, although it would be soon,
it lay on the short grass down at the park
i go to with the dog most afternoons.
just now, a memory flashed past my eyes.
i must have been 15, 16 at most,
and we were driving, late at night, along
a little country highway headed to
the cabin in New Hampshire where we spent
the month of August. both sides of the road
went down to marshes. as we came around
a bend, we drove into a heavy rain.
and suddenly the road had come alive
with frogs, in thousands, crossing back and forth.
the rain was crackling on the volvo's roof
and frogs were popping underneath the wheels.
my mom pulled over, shut the engine down,
but even after we had waited there
for half an hour, frogs covered the road,
and it was late, too late to sit and wait.
i only saw the frog because i heard
it croak, a raspy little sound, stiffled,
as if it had a frog stuck in it's throat.
and even though i knew that it would die
more slowly if i left it where it lay,
i couldn't bring myself to lift my boot
and bring it down and crush that little voice.