May 21

I used to think the croak of frogs
in the pond across the street
harkened me in the darkness,
hooked me like the catfish
and rock bass that swam
below those oak trees.

Their sound hacked a crack
in my wood-paneled walls
and entertained both
that child and the roaches
who could not sleep
cooking into moonlight.

The rock of my young life,
a mud puddle chocked
to the gills with linguistics,
with life. The oaks are still
there. I’ve left. The toads
go on and on, croaking.

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