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Katherine Riegel


Listen to Katherine Riegel read "Chimes:"

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  • Tiny Frog
  • Tiny Frog
  • Tiny Frog


We rescue tiny frogs from our swimming pool,
jewels of gold and green, the size
of a freckle or
half my pinky fingernail, their bodies
precise, the splayed toes with their suction-cup
endings, the black eyes as wise as a whale’s.
We scoop them out of the chlorinated water
and deposit them in the potted bromeliads, hoping
the soupy ponds of the centers are
just what they need to live, imagining
them diving there like mermaids in a seaweed jungle
eating mosquito larvae and whatever
troubles the edges of those pink serrated leaves;

or sometimes, thinking of overcrowded
high-rises, we curl
our hands and ferry
them outside to the birdbath and its
dangerous open water.

We don’t know what happens
to them, so many
predators out there and thousands
of leaves to hide under; we don’t know
where they breed or if they ever
grow bigger; we know only they carry
something more delicate and powerful than watch gears
inside their glistening skins;
and when the winter comes we will speak of them

saying the names we have
thought to give them: little golden bell, orb of summer, breath
of rain, whisper disappearing
into the grass.



Katherine Riegel's first book of poetry is Castaway. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals, most recently Conte, the Cream City Review, and Poetry Kanto. She teaches at the University of South Florida. Her website is www.katherineriegel.com.
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