Taking pictures of frogs is one of my favorite spring activities, and during this week’s break, I’ve been haunting two local vernal pools. Sometimes finding frogs is like completing a hidden picture puzzle. You look and look and don’t see any, and then suddenly realize there’s one over there. Oh! Then, there’s another! And another! Then, the challenge is to get a picture of them without scaring them away.  I’ve had limited success this year (I don’t think the frogs like the miserable weather either!), but have had great fun searching. I love using photos with poetry and thought this week I might use one of my new pictures to inspire a poem about frogs.

Then the other day, I finally had the chance to dive into Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s book, Poems Are Teachers. What an inspiration!  I haven’t read far (too many spring break “field trips”!) but am loving it. It’s an incredibly rich brew of resources spiced with Amy’s passion for and knowledge about poetry. I’m struggling to find the superlatives to do it justice, but the bottom line is, I think this book will have a major impact on both my teaching and my writing.

Anyway, while I was toying with the idea of writing a frog-inspired poem, I read Chapter 1, and Mary Lee Hahn’s words struck me. “When I choose a photo, I notice everything in it. Then I think about who or what might be just outside the edges of the photo.” Her words inspired me to go back to some recent frog photos and push outside the edges of the image, in search of a poem.

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I step off the river path
into cool shadows
My eyes skim the vernal pool
seeking irregularity
a broken plane
on the leaf-lined pond
where light freckles the surface
tree shadows criss cross and
reflections run riot
searching, searching
The bump of your eyes
catches mine
I crouch, snap a photo
then step forward eagerly
too eagerly
and with a splash you dive
your pale amphibian legs
flexing and pushing
ghostly shadows in the murky water
’til you vanish from sight
only ripples mark
where once you were

©2018 M.  Hogan




This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Tabatha Yeatts at her blog, The Opposite of Indifference. Tabatha is also celebrating the release of IMPERFECT: Poems about mistakes for middle schoolers. I’m thrilled to have a poem included in this collection. Woohoo! Pssttt—There are even rumors about a party! Head on over so you don’t miss the fun!