I knew its rocks and stumps
And its inclines
It recognized me too.
Light filtered through the trees in
The woods my path
Meandered through. I ambled
through the mud and marshy water. My sister
And I tried to find frogs
But there was only mud, no matter how
Deep we reached down.
Nets or buckets or boots couldn’t
Do the trick. Some days the frogs just
Escaped our young hands. The water flowed
From the pond to the dribbling creek,
A refuge from the mid-July heat. The tadpoles
Swam around in plain sight. An easy
Catch but an unfulfilling feat.
The rope swing swayed
with the wind inviting us
To join him, lingering by the banks. No time
For games until the frogs were caught.
After a few hours of searching
And many handfuls of mud
We made our way home without a catch.
Retracing those comforting
Steps. And only when I was lying in bed,
Showered and clean, could I hear
The croaks of the bullfrog.