Measure of Rest


When I was young I cried, sure,

but also caught frogs, flipped them

softskin up in the cup of my palm,


perfecting my hypnotic process,

swirling the pad of one thumb along

a lump in the twig-boned ‘V’


of their throats, which I’d stroke

until the animal submitted

and slipped into a burbly bodhisattva.


These were the summers of blond

curls and whimsy, riding high

on the planar throne of my father’s


shoulder, tugging against the black

roots of his hair. We were expecting great things

back then, from the meteor shower, the bungalow


on Middlesex Lane. A caterpillar

could make me laugh. I’d place those stony green

amphibians I’d caught one by one freely afloat again


atop the pond where some lingered,

motionless, as if waiting for my threat to pass

or possibly pausing a moment to admire


the curve of a branch,

the summer-fresh sky, the face

of a child towering far overhead.