Sanctum - Maggie Swanson

I knew its rocks and stumps

And its inclines

And declines.

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.