Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 142: Loch Meallbrodden

Mating frogs at Loch Meallbrodden

On a sunny bank we found them;
hundreds of frogs, coaxed by warmth
from their winter homes,
croaking and basking in singles,
swimming piggy-backed in couples;
the reedy shallows a rolling boil
where they broke the surface for air.
Then groups of eight or nine together,
clumped in khaki knots,
one bloated female bearing several males
along her spotted back,
their bellies pale as the skin of a wrist.

From the wooden jetty we watched,
holding hands, frogs joining any other
that came in range, their frenzy so fierce
we turned and dropped our gaze and clasp,
watching our feet as we took up the path.

Walking by the hidden loch
that first warm day of sun, wasps clung
to nodding heads of bulbs,
hovered over beads of heather.
We passed the shoreline boathouse
slumping like a punctured lung,
crushed by months of snow and ice.

By the water’s edge we squatted,
inspecting jellied dots abandoned there,
a thousand single eyes unblinking,
quivering in the blazing sun.

Patrica Ace

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