Hochstetter’s Frog || James Norcliffe

Tiny jeweled pawn,
all eyes, mouth and legs
half-sprung for jumping.

You could have been a radio star
if the dice hadn’t rolled
the radio’s way,
eyes closed,
a crooner swaying
in an unseen green tuxedo.

Instead you crouch
in moss and spawn: wet, weak,
eyes wide open,
feet flexed and curled,
primed to leap
compelled to creep
up out of the creek
up and out of the whole
bleak, benighted world.

This was originally published in Spring 2018 edition of The Helix.