Wood Frogs and Spring Peepers
Late March, and the woodland marshes are thawed,
Drowned by days-long rains, in the weak light
Lost in drizzle and fog; and if you’re awake
And about in the seep and chill of the night—
Oh, the wood frogs and the peepers!
You’ll surely envy the sleepers
When those sirens seem to vie for the soul
In the waters where they mingle, calling.
The peepers’ warmthless, mystical choir,
Their cries like silver showers, upwards-falling
To some rare, too-strange hereafter;
And below, a grim ghoul laugher,
A vocal eruption from the underworld
Mumbling the liturgy of a black mass:
The raucous wood frogs’ counter-chorus;
And how they beckon the soul as you pass,
The sublime allied with the harsh!
But step to the edge of the marsh—
How silent they fall in anticipation!
Have you come at last to embrace your doom?
Don’t you thirst for the peace that can’t be found?
Will you enter the marsh in the mist and gloom?
And let’s believe the sodden loam
You once again will tread for home
As the sirens revive their bright-dark summons
For the lone on a springtime night’s sojourn.
But that moment of silence, heard from afar—
For one who arrives and who won’t return?
We are not your brothers’ keepers
Cry the wood frogs and the peepers.