Thursday, January 22, 2009
Yesterday I went for a walk along the ditch. It looked so naked.
It had been shaved of the mile high weeds and flowers lining it.
There was a lull in the water flow so the bottom was now only mud
and occasional pools of water. In a few spots crayfish were looking
for soft muck.
Green heads of frogs emerged here and there.
Some sunbathed then dove in alarm at the sound of humans or dogs.
One wise frog was not so skittish.
He sat out on a concrete abutment, taking in the day.
I sat with him for a while to see what I could learn.
Frogs are rare these days. Most frogs have been taken out
by poisons and pesticides. This wise frog and his relatives
were the most I’d seen in one place in years.
Neither of us said anything as we watched the blue fall sky
sweep by and the scrambling crayfish. At the back of my mind
was the stack of papers on my desk, the errands, terrorist
attacks by our government, and concern for my brother and
The scrambling slowly unwound.
When the wise frog did finally talk he noted that humans
used to come and visit. And they would visit in turn.
We both sat with remembering as another stream of blue
passed with thoughts of clouds.
We felt sad at the current state of loss in this world
of progress. Somewhere along the way humans got confused
and lost the way. Some still remember, I told the frog.
I look for them everywhere I go. He nodded.
Some of his people had forgotten too.
Time pulled us both apart. We had to get on with it.
We made plans to get together again. We thanked each other
for the visit. When I looked back he was still there,
encouraging that crayfish towards a muddy cove.
c Joy Harjo