FROGSPAWN EULOGY

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Sheffield, is this my lump sum?

A pond frogspawn clogged

A water’s surface that had once been live

With squat squirming intentions

Fat arms tight-ballooned with clinging

Bubble-squeezed

An orgy of multiplying

Fleshy lifeboats inflated with

The resolve of toddler fists and gums.

 

What eats frogspawn?

What parasite cataracts its

Foetal pupils?

 

Gelatin shells to squeeze free from.

 

How do I crawl out of a place?

Like this?

All these benches my-body-sized

With strangers’ names

I just want to make like a snowdrop

And lose my head to the earth.

 

I left the window above my sleeping head open

For my night terrors

To escape into your fenced perimeters

and settle at the fountain’s stone base

Under all that dropped copper.

 

Or to wash up like tree-stumps,

Mock-shipwrecks overrun

by many-gilled fungus

Soft-skulled barnacles.

 

They still skulk as darkness

Under the hedges

Where the mice can grip the pips

of nightmare’s tangibility

Between their tiny paws and

Nibble them into

Digestible morsels

 

I will not cry

Over watchful cats

Swallowing flurries of tiny pink paws

With expanded pupils

 

Over lost spawn

Like bubbles popped

Sacks of pupa wriggled from

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