Bullfrog Tadpoles

 

What’s this pond coming to—

 

The survival of the dimmest?

 

An orphanage for a bunch of retards,

In the eyes of the bluegill.

 

Even the crayfish are appalled

By these aimless imbeciles,

 

These goofballs—these big boneless babies!

 

Poster children for moron control.

 

Try not to laugh

At the bullfrog tadpoles.

 

***

 

Look at them, will you?

 

These gargantuan pollywogs

In army-surplus fatigues,

 

The commas that ate the world,

 

Propellering over the drowned leaffall

 

Till your approach of the shore

Sends them squirming into the silt.

 

And motionless for a moment

They honestly forget they’re alive,

 

Their only life

The life to come,

 

Till it’s Curly

Starring as Lazarus

 

And they’re streaking

To the surface for air,

 

A stolen gulp of fifty-proof air

That leaves them stuporous,

 

Sinking inertly to the pond floor,

 

Piling onto each other

Like featherweight boulders:

 

A sleeping bee

Of insomniac dirigibles,

 

Of terrified grenades.

 

Those jowly faces of morbid obesity,

And that thumb-sucker’s mouth

Always pumping away—

 

Who stole all the pacifiers?

 

It’s a cheek-to-stuffed-cheek

Handel chorus of autistic mutes.

 

They’re vegan and they’re gaga,

 

But those who presume they’re an easy meal

Will savor the delights of food poisoning.

 

***

 

Ah, but these idiots:

 

They are idiot savants,

 

With absolute genius

In the field of Becoming.

 

The pond is the womb

Of these locked-in mystics

 

And they’re conducting a thousand

Physiology experiments at once.

 

Look again:

 

The spectral eye,

The pale mottled belly,

 

Wait a minute—

Aren’t those…

 

Yeah,

 

That solar-throated

All-Pro linebacker

Hulking in the cattails:

 

Papa,

In the Hereafter.

 

They will sprout

A first little spinach

Of rear legs.

 

They will fall

On their gelatinous swords.

 

Their eyes will roll

To the tops of their heads.

 

They will shatter the glass ceiling,

Leaving the bluegill speechless.

 

Then they will dope

And pump iron

 

And devour

Whatever moves

And is swallowable.

 

And when you see

That super-athletic

Stutter of splashes,

 

When you hear

That voluminous roar,

 

When they couldn’t be further

From their salad days,

 

Be amazed,

 

Then more amazed—

 

I mean, really man:

You were a tadpole too.