Academic journal article Hecate

The Frogs Sang Me Back

Academic journal article Hecate

The Frogs Sang Me Back

Article excerpt

Today I let the music in, and remembered

how it softens the cicada-husk of you,

the way sleep does;

how it quiets the circling animal within

the way rutting does;

how music makes the borders around things clear

as though, suddenly, the clumsy hand that colours your life in

learns to stay inside the lines.

Music nectars your half-lit bedroom

until it seems full of an amber chicle.

I recall the first mad months after he left-

my baby daughter would ever so carefully

make up my bed, while I lathered and slathered in lavender.

She would plump hand-stitched pillows and arrange

a sprig of wild fuchsia or a wattle switch, fuzzed with wool,

and when she had put me dumbly to bed,

she would twitch the frog-music on.

My sister had sent it from Rum Jungle,

and to me, it was the tropics;

it was that dry-cleaner steaminess,

and it was those big glycerine drops that slide

off the greasy leaves of the rubber trees.

The music was the sound of the little myopic frogs,

like tender jade buddhas, whistling in the dark;

it was the heady come-hither stink of mosquito coils,

and the white fluff left behind in your bed by geckos

that curled up like sardine-can lids from the timber ribs

of a donga built like an umbrella.

Every night, I fell asleep to the mystic drugging of the frogs,

until my daughters could stand the zombie droning no longer. …

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