Along with the poems Black Horizon, Do You Remember Those Words?, Hollow, and You Don’t Know I’m Leaving, this poem was written in May 2015. The significance of the frogs is personal and is the last psychological scar of that time which I still feel slightly, but which, I’m sure, will eventually fade to nothing. This is The Frog Garden.
The Frog Garden
In the garden, a pot nurses only a weed,
the promised tenant as yet to be seen,
and, as I prepare to leave, I know
no plant in that pot will ever grow.
In the midst of the past and the future I sit,
like a thirsty sponge soaking up all it can fit,
condemning each detail to the halls of regret,
as a scrapbook of memories for a failed duet.
A cluster of roses and peony converge
over one yellow sibling, preparing a dirge
for that diminutive fighter, far from matured,
through long sleeps and snowdrifts, somehow endured.
Posing for the camera, rubber frogs huddle tight
on a mushroom, like a family, with smiles of delight;
quaint little presents that soon, quite discreet,
will be lost in a limbo for frogs obsolete.
As the sun tips its hat and bids me farewell,
a lamp-post waits patient for night’s umbral spell;
a claw of black iron and weak amber light,
which never again will act as my guide.
For a harvest sun bleeding, a wood pile awaits,
to discover its purpose at winter’s chill gates.
But the magpies of spring brought the key to my cage,
and bade me, before time, to exit the stage.
Two frogs lean as lovers on the brink of the abyss;
carved copper locked in a relic’s sweet kiss;
companions and mimics of love manifest,
now forsaken to rust at finale’s behest.
Mere months since a scion, now awoken from sleep,
as if its roots sense a sadness, the willow now weeps.
That tree will become a sentinel brave;
a keeper for corpses in a garden of graves.
I’m gone now; the send-offs are all said and done,
and that miniature vista has lost all its fun.
In the garden of secrets, I can only conclude
that its dwellers are destined to burgeon and brood.
The wistful old willow casts shade over green,
while flourishing flowers enliven the scene.
But the frogs, if not absent, are covered with mould,
forgotten as fragments of stories untold.
Copyright 2015, 2018 © Scott Kaelen
Read my other poems here