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9:38 a.m. - Monday, Sept. 20, 2004
To Froggy, Who Will Go No More A-Courtin'
“How odd,” I thought. “Those cut weeds look just like frogs’ legs.” Then I noticed the staring eyes in the severed head.

I manage to avoid so many little toads and frogs when I’m using the low-slung grass mower that I never thought I would kill one with the high-set brush mower. I never saw him until it was too late, I swear. Now I’m going to feel guilty for the next ten years.


Fear no more the heat of the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages,
— Although you never feared them, did you, since frogs hibernate in winter —
…All right, then — fear no more the garter snake’s jaws
Or the fox’s claws
(Do foxes eat amphibians?)
Home art gone, and ta’en thy insects.
Golden lads and girls all must,
As frogs, dogs, and goldenrod, come to dust.

Fear no more the human impulse to neaten:
Thou art past the mower’s stroke.
Care no more to eat, and not be eaten:
To thee a slither is as a croak.
The scepter, learning, physic, and diners on frogs’ legs must
Put down their forks, and come to dust.

No planned development thy habitat take,
No industrial discharge thou three-headed make,
No garter, rattle, coral or black snake swallow thee,
No gasoline-powered brush mower follow thee.
Quiet consummation have,
And wildflowers hide thy grave.

I’m at work. I can feel the creativity dying in me, the life and soul oozing out of me minute by minute. I wonder if this is how a frog feels when it’s in the snake’s belly?


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