Frog Woman

She sits
In the shower,
Allowing the water
To rain down,
Soaking her skin,
Sort of the way it did
When she had gills
And lived in it,
Submerged in stories
Without awareness
Of the tick of time
Or the voices
Calling her to the surface.
She had lived in water
And she was made of water
And it passed through her
Leaving life.
That was before she knew
Of air and land
And of crossing between worlds,
Before she knew of birds and foxes
And hands that grabbed,
Before she knew of dryness,
And the need to draw air in
And spit it out again,
Before she knew that life required effort.
Her strongest desire was to leave her eggs
In the water
Where her gilled children
Would live for a time
In a world
Where life and living
Flow seamlessly.
This week–something for the grown-ups.
For more Poetry Friday go to Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids.

(c) 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

8 replies
  1. Author Amok says:

    Hi, Liz. These lines suggested so much,

    “Before she knew of birds and foxes
    And hands that grabbed,
    Before she knew of dryness,
    And the need to draw air in
    And spit it out again”

    Your poem reminded me of the “Frog Lady” in my childhood neighborhood. She was in her twenties, road around on her bike with long hair flowing. We all thought she was crazy, but I don’t know why.

  2. laurasalas says:

    Liz, What a cool, mysterious, layered poem. My favorite line:

    And hands that grabbed,

    THis poem made me think of all that we want from life and all that life demands from us.

  3. Tara @ A Teaching Life says:

    She had lived in water
    And she was made of water
    And it passed through her
    Leaving life.

    I just keep returning to these lines…others have commented on the cool mysteriousness of your poem, and I so agree.

  4. Linda at teacherdance says:

    You seem to have gone down to the essence of who we are, Liz. Is it the core of the past beings, or what is inside us always? “Before she knew that life required effort”-Is evolution a good thing? Wonderful words to think over.

  5. Violet N. says:

    I love the layers of this. The first image I had was of myself, staying far too long in the shower.

    The last lines of the “In a world / Where life and living / flow seamlessly” give me a sense of longing.

  6. Robyn Hood Black says:

    Wow indeed, Liz. I LOVE this. I was particularly drawn to those same lines others chose, too:

    “Before she knew of birds and foxes
    And hands that grabbed,
    Before she knew of dryness,
    And the need to draw air in…”

    Thanks for sharing.

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