The Frogs on the Mountain

At the edge of still water
a leopard frog’s eyes
crack the glassy reflection
of trees leaning over the pond
with a dark circle floating
in each golden iris
and green on the loose-fitting skin
that follows the contour of bone
from the skull
to the spring at the base
of the back. Where there’s one,
there’s another, and more
on the wet plane of light
spanned across amber shallows
pressed into the earth. Each in turn
breaks camouflage to shine
a moment before a leap
unfolds from the long legs
that stretch out and trail
in the air for the second
preceding the sound
of coming down
onto and into the cool
semi-dark as the rings on the surface
spread wide and dissolve.
And the last thing we see
is the slippery cushion of flesh
spanned firmly between
ridges on the right side
and the left, and those
between that ripple through
from muscle like lines
in the structure of a hand
clenched into a fist inside
a glove with no fingers.

David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in England, and spent several years in Vienna before moving to Phoenix in 1978. He pursued his visual art and had several shows, as well as writing and publishing his poetry in magazines and collections, the latest of which is The Devil’s Sonata from FutureCycle Press. Although he became ever more interested in the desert and its wildlife, the shadow side of Vienna emerges in his fiction and The Taste of Fog, which was published by Rain Mountain Press.

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