The first time I heard them

it was late

it was damp

water was all around us

and we were so deep in the country

that the stars outshone both our headlamps combined

the weight of the wild was welcome

preferable to the weight we carried in society

definitions and identities dissolved in the wetlands at our ankles

and we breathed the moisture

of many swaying grasses

it was then that you turned to me with eyes

full of the misty wonder of a toddler learning to listen

and you asked in hushed quick tones

“hear that?”

I opened my ears to the sounds I’d been bathing in all night

really listening now

I heard the rhythmic singing of

a chorus of many piercing voices

“those are frogs”

you said

they must have numbered in the hundreds

all around us

and I knew then that this was their land

and when morning broke all was golden and still

and I tasted the last echoes

of their song on the wind

before departing that timeless open place


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