local_library The Frog Crossing the Wal-Mart Parking Lot

by Jeff Santosuosso

Published in Issue No. 183 ~ August, 2012

The anonymous frog stands tall and proud

by the Wal-Mart loading dock,

unafraid at these off-hours,

on a steamy August night, just right for permeable skin hydration,

oxygen transfer,

and croaking for a mate.

The smooth stone estate spills out before him,

even as foot traffic abates indoors,

and the glisten of fragmented rubber under a film of oil

on the pavement,

so thin it rivals just one of his three sets of eyelids,

gives way to the cool moonlight

that lights the way to the creek

where he yearns to join his brothers,

to chorus loud enough to awaken the people

from their somnambulant summer shopping.

One jump at a time,

elongated muscles pull on fused bones

to thrust him one full car length,

one parking space to the open far end

that liberates him through the span guiding human passage,

trafficked by their humming vehicles that can out-horn his croak.

Locomotion is relative, and the frog is one of earth’s great masters.

The ant hefts fifty of his kind with ease;

the impala makes a horse to crawl;

the frog leaps as if gravity were horizontal.

He has crossed half the lot with agile deliberation,

as the lanterned shoppers wind their carts slowly,

contemplating candy bars, crayons and coupons,

imagine-fitting “Made in China” in a mirror,

and lumber on to the next aisle.

Why does he cross?

He suffers no existential dilemma. He leaps.

His amphibian consciousness

has never been measured.

It may not be measurable.

Tonight, he will find a mate,

take her in amplexus, fertilize her eggs beneath the moon,

the stream’s surface,

the clatter of the vehicles

and take to the cool corners of the brook

to pass the sear of the oncoming day, shielded from the savage predation

that will decimate his progeny.

Survivors will follow,

feast on mosquito, millipede, spider and snail,

find themselves as he is, the unsung stepchildren of the ecosystem,

beyond the humans in their own gathering activities,

across the Wal-Mart parking lot.

account_box More About

Jeff Santosuosso is a business executive and poet who splits his time between Dallas, TX and Pensacola, FL. He is a member of the Dallas Poets Community and the West Florida Literary Foundation. This is his 2nd appearance in PIF Maganzine, following "Catfishing" in October 2010. His poems have also appeared in a number of online and print publications including Illya's Honey, Red River Review, Red Fez, the Texas Poetry Calendar 2012, Avocet, and more. You can find him on Facebook.