Still Life with Chorus of Frogs
by Allyson Whipple

Big Thicket

We arrive too late for sunset.
No matter: the ancient pines block
the view of every horizon, so tall
they almost cover the stars.

He builds fire amidst darkness,
grills steaks by the light of flame.
When he asks for salt, I barely hear
him over frogs chanting their mating gospels.

I try to subdivide the tones,
separate every species, but each croak
and trill forms a cloud
over the saturated creek bed.

The notes bounce over stones, carve
through cypress leaves, skim
the rims of our beer bottles
every song an echo of my booming love.

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