La Rana (The Frog)
I sit on a boulder in the Trinity River and make peace with my fear
of the bear. I will leave it here with the tadpoles around my ankles,
speckled stones, tall grass and the frog’s eyes just above the surface.
I will try to sit in stillness like that frog and watch water rush over fallen firs,
duck my head to avoid a swallowtail flying into me. One eye
is on a garter snake swimming S’s and the other on a lizard
beneath the coolness of a redwood shadow. There are greater
fears out there, a parent’s death, a terrorist’s threat. The river deafens
all sounds save the truth of rapids, the croak of a frog, the splash of a foot.
Maria Garcia Teutsch