It lives in a small backwater, and it doesn’t know
Much more than dragonflies and darning needles,
The plash and galump of a frog. What it wonders
Is how do I get through another day.
It feeds on been whispered to it
In secret meetings at dusk, and what’s proclaimed
By flights of cmws. It likes
Lying on a sunlit log or wading
To shore with its fellows—where it seeks
Places it hasn’t any trouble squeezing into.
What it demands, the few times it demands,
Is never to be shaken. But if that happens,
It wants the right to reassert itself,
And will die for that right. You can find it
By heading west at sunset, its spot
Marked by bubbles rising to the surface.
The brighter you are, the more likely it will greet you
With suspicion, so to get close to it
You must tell it stories that it wants to hear.
If you would expand it, if you would lift it out,
First consider its age and if it’s strong enough
To live anywhere else. Elsewise,
You either must row around it or overwhelm it
With goodness and mercy and bribes.
© Dick Allen