by Joel Chace
Google-eyed and glued to the spot,
in July’s steamy heat he stands
by the stream edging
his grandfather’s hayfields.
His older cousin holds the willow branch
he’s sharpened to a spear. And there,
only its own eyes showing
above the water’s surface –
the frog. The cousin halff-turns,
as if to say, “Let’s go now,”
but then, with swift and noiseless violence,
spins back and strikes down with all
his little boy’s might. A one in a million
shot: the frog skewered fast to the creek-bed.
Not that they can any longer see
the animal itself. Only the astounding
rainbow oilslick of blood
spreads, rippling, staining the water
like some new element, some crazy, greasy
peacock feather paint – a gay camouflage.
Like some new element. Or like
the oldest one of all, gurgling up
from its depths, as their litle boys’ laughter
spills helplessly from them.