What I Learned When I Was Ten

Frogs laid jellied eggs in spring

Suspended in swollen waters

Waiting to splurge their growing tadpoles

Into knee-deep eddies of Leach Creek.

Salamanders dragged pale tangerine bellies

Slithered across black ooze of mud

At shallow green safety of water’s edge

Disappearing eelgrass supple into the deep.

Fir trees offered pitch-pocketed trunks

Weeping golden sap in the July heat

Gifting Resin-coated palms after scramble

Heavenward into swaying bowers of evergreen.

Spoiled boys in their dusty surplus tent

Erected hastily in the neighbor’s yard

A warzone of dirty gang secrets and forcible deeds.

I begged them not to hold my legs

I dared not enter those woods again.

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