On Censusing Frogs in Late July

by Conrad Vispo


It is the epitome of a mid-summer’s evening. The air sits like a sweating guest sipping lightening on the porch. It’s a day that preached the benefits of a nocturnal life-style. The green frogs croak, diligent but not ardent, taking their time as do the stars slowly appearing from behind the last wash of sunset.

This is a unifying nighttime heat, so thorough and pervasive that one cannot imagine the hour and its aura to be different anywhere else across the land. Like those legendary molecules of air once exhaled by Napolean and now, no doubt, entering my own lungs, that mosquito has surely flown here from dark and distant shores where all that differed was the word for such a thing as she.

Somewhere, nearer at hand, are resting the butterflies which I chased at midday as they loped above parched grass; brief bolts of life, adorned to the hilt with a beauty that reflects, if not our own beauty, then at least the color of our eyes. They and the frogs – so naïve, if one can be naïve when knowledge is not your language; and so direct, if one can be direct when there is no chance of duplicity. They are like this night: here and now and echoing with the antithesis of resonance. And we, whose minds and feet, through no self-earned honor, wander further, are left to ask the questions of children before elders – “What do I deserve? What do they deserve? And, who holds whom?”

Complexity can hardly stun as deeply as utter simplicity, for we have layered so much atop our reality that to be mooned by the skeletal elements of our existence is cause enough to take one more deep breath before getting back in the car and heading home.