Did I Mention

poetry 0
Martha Silano


a box of frogs arrived one day at our front door,
special delivery? My dad had ordered them.
Laboratory frogs, he called them.
Said they were ours; we could
let them loose in a kiddie pool
in the basement;


they would be our pets. I don’t recall if we fed them.
Did we feed them at all? We knew nothing
about caring for frogs, and the box
they arrived in hadn’t come
with a how-to pamphlet
or book.


Soon they began to die. What to do with their bodies
was another question we had. My father
hadn’t mentioned we’d be on our own
with this task. My mother, a woman
who dealt with our vomit
and phlegm,


wanted less than nothing to do with the kingdom
of the amphibious. So we did what most
kids do: ad-libbed. When a frog kicked
we’d carry it to the backyard, fling it
by the leg as high as we could.


Months later, I found one hanging on a branch
of a pear tree. A frog corpse nestled between
unfurling leaves and my favorite blossoms
because they resembled
small white fish.

Martha Silano’s most recent book is Gravity Assist (Saturnalia Books, 2019). She co-authored The Daily Poet: Day-by-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice (Two Sylvias Press, 2013). She teaches at Bellevue College and Seattle’s Hugo House.